DENY THY COMFORT
Have you ever read a familiar scripture and one day it speaks to you in a fresh new way? You may have evaluated it dozens of times in the past and then God reveals an entirely new meaning. I had a moment like that when I read 2 Corinthians 1:3 NLT “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.”
One sunny Saturday morning, during my regular quiet time, the words
“the source of ALL comfort”
jumped out at me. I leaped from my chair, clapped and shouted, “God you are the SOURCE of ALL comfort!” Odd as it was, this was a declaration. And in that season of my life, a declaration that was way overdue. I knew that God was my comforter. I never really understood the depth of what that could mean in my life.
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you are aware that as a young girl I found comfort in food. This coping mechanism followed me into my adult years and, though God’s grace has helped me overcome, it is still something I must guard myself from continuously.
This past Summer was a pivotal season for me as I got serious about denying the tangible means of comfort through food in my life, so I could fully experience the comfort of God. The book, Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst was instrumental in this process and I recommend it to anyone who struggles with comfort eating. This book is jam packed with profound thoughts on the negative impacts of finding comfort in anything other than God. As I applied the truths of the Word in my life, refusing to turn to food, I began to feel like never before. I wish I could say it brought on fuzzy and warm feelings! To be honest it was quite the opposite. Laying down the temptation of fulfillment through emotional eating was not an easy road. I realized that I had kept myself in a constant state of numbness so that I didn’t have to feel daily rejections and failures.
I came home, sat on the couch, and my heart and mind were heavy as I processed my day. Some of those interactions were encouraging and up-lifting. Others left me feeling insecure, inadequate or rejected. Now that I was refusing to turn to food I was forced to decide what weighed heavy on my heart. I started evaluating the interactions of the day and realized I had a lot of work to do! Now that I was refusing to go to food for comfort, I was more aware of who my comforter was. I had to choose to go to Him instead of the refrigerator. I sat there and would name everything from that day that I was carrying and would visualize myself placing it at the feet of Jesus and walking away. As days and weeks went by of me choosing to receive real comfort over a temporary fill something great was being built within me. I experienced a confidence and strength in Christ as I continually went to Him to lay at His feet all that I carried. My sensitivity to his voice and direction was like nothing I had ever experienced.
Have you ever had a time in your life when you just felt like you couldn’t get through to God, as if there was something in the way? I can tell you now that God isn’t the one who causes that. It’s us. When we choose to pick something else to answer, to fill, to relieve we are denying the freedom God offers in His comfort. For me, I know it’s food. For others those means of comfort could come from relationships, shopping, alcohol/drugs, or even sex. We are survivors. Without a relationship with our Heavenly Father we will do whatever it takes to feel “ok”. Yes, even Christians are guilty of this without understanding what God our Father can provide to us if we just go to Him. There may even be some reading this who don’t struggle with false comfort but recognize it in family or friends. I hope this gives you insight to those in your life who have a different journey than you!
Friends, I share all of this as a reminder that you are loved and chosen by God in hopes that in this next season you would “deny thy comfort” and accept, embrace and receive the comfort that God has to offer you. He is such a loving God. Nothing really compares to his gracious and loving presence. When I lay down my anxieties and fears at His feet He always gives something back to me – His love, His truth, His peace, His acceptance and His hope. I know He desires to have ALL of our hearts, but this area can be a major roadblock to fully handing our hearts to Him.
So this week and beyond allow yourself to be aware of your daily struggles and your daily victories. Rather than surrendering them to false comfort, bring them to the feet of Jesus, the ultimate Comforter. ‘God is our merciful Father and the SOURCE of all comfort’ and he has something magnificent in store for you- all you have to do is deny thy comfort.