Sunday, November 15, 2009

comfortable vs. uncomfortable

The root word in the words, comfortable and uncomfortable is "comfort".
Comfort on the exterior can seem merely like a "warm fuzzy feeling"...but when you add it all up, comfort is much bigger and more powerful and amazing than that.
Why, Jesus even sent a Resident Comforter to live in us, the Holy Spirit of Truth. Comfort must be pretty important to God if He offered such a Gift as that for every believer.

God has wired us to receive comfort in many tangible ways through our senses...
eyes...photographs; Christmas ornaments from childhood; new fallen snow; a tire swing next to a swimming hole; a log cabin; a fire in the fireplace; a rocking chair; a front porch swing...
ears...our mother's voice; a dinner bell; mail being dropped into the mailbox; children's voices on a playground; chicken frying in a skillet; music in all it's varieties; a purring cat....
smells...chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven; fresh bread; steak on a grill; fresh cut grass; rain; clean laundry; a christmas tree; scented candles; lavender...
touch....a hug; a kiss or holding hands with someone you love; a down comforter; a hand-sewn quilt; silk; cotton; hair; a soft teddy bear; a cat's fur; holding a warm cup of coffee on a cold day...
taste...many many kinds of foods...salty, spicy, sweet, savory. Many, many kinds of beverages...

These are tangible means of comfort that each of us receive as a gift from our Loving Father, but He has comfort in much deeper ways as well.

Think how often we turn to receive comfort. Many times a day we don't even realize that we are seeking comfort because we are feeling afraid or worried or upset or tired or discouraged or lonely.
Life throws alot at us.
I guess, those who seek comfort are those who have a need?

How each of us "receives" comfort will be how we "give" comfort.
We can only give what we have first received...that is why the second great commandment is defined, Love your neighbor "as yourself". Who are we to love (as God does) first? Me!
Loving myself as God does means I first receive His love for "me"...then give it to others in the same way. We are learning to love. It's important for us to learn to receive His love daily.

Isaiah 40 begins, "Comfort ye; comfort ye My people...." It is the theme of that chapter.
How does the Holy Spirit direct this to be done?
Tell them good news! In fact, shout it out as loud as you can....from a high mountain.
What are we to shout out as the good news specifically to bring this comfort?

The rest of the chapter, Isaiah, as a messenger repeating the King's words, lavishes on the reader many word-pictures comparing things about God's character with things in nature.
We begin to feel very small...and our problems seem the light of the greatness and bigness and unchangeableness of the God that made and loves us! The "Truth" of who He is and what He has done brings an incredible "comfort"...His truth frees us into the place of safety; which is in Him alone.

Comfort is all about knowing you are "safe". This is what His love does for us individually.

Our safety is hugely important to God...just read Psalm 23 and 91 and John 10. Even when everything is falling apart around us and we are abandoned by everyone else, He says..."I will not leave you as orphans but I will come to you and live with you forever".
Forever is a long time! It leaves nothing unguarded. And our God now lives "inside" us..."Christ in you, the Hope of glory". He's closer than we can define in words.

The truth frees us from fear and all that causes panic and anxiety and depression and takes us into the arms of the Father to live in the safety of His love that is the strongest force in the universe. He actually invites us to be bold about coming anytime.

Comfort equals His love which is revealed in His truth.
I pray you are comforted!

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