Take off your shoes. Loosen your collar. Find a comfy seat.
Go on, get comfortable. Put yourself in the best possible position to be comforted. Because that’s what’s on the menu today.
God is serving up great heaving helpings of comfort, and you are the recipient. Now you may think you don’t deserve it, but this isn’t a matter of what you deserve. You may think others need it more, but no worries, everybody gets comforted today.
Once you feel better, you may even do some comforting yourself.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been uncomfortable. Like really uncomfortable, for a long time. I had surgery that has left my body feeling like it’s been put back together wrong. But it’s not just that—I’ve had to wear these stupid uncomfortable masks for two years. We’ve lived through a pandemic—but not everybody did. And just when things start to loosen up in that department, now I’m watching war unfold. People have even whispered, dare I say it, the possibility of World War III?
That’s pretty much the most uncomfortable scenario I can imagine, and it makes my skin crawl. It fills me with dread and makes me want to just go to sleep for a very long time.
That’s not right! That’s not the plan, not in God’s book. God’s menu is serving up compassion and comfort, to help you and I get through today’s troubles, and tomorrow’s.
Yes, things keep being yucky, but you and I are surrounded, steeped in the Grace of God, reflected in the power of Jesus, and the pervasiveness of the Holy Spirit. The challenge for us is being open to receive that Grace. Putting ourselves in a position where we can take a deep breath and remember that God is good.
So, what can you do to be in that position? Take a nice walk out in nature? Read some scripture? Call a friend and have a nice long talk punctuated by lots of laughter? This is not an invitation to ignore the world’s pains or stick your head in the sand. It’s an invitation to get comfortable. It’s possible.
I wrote this devotion today from a Panera Bread restaurant. I didn’t want to do anything, but I got up, grabbed lunch with a friend, and drove here. I’m sitting here with a drink, my iPad open and a couple deep breaths to center myself.
I’ve still got lots to overcome, lots to worry about, but I ordered from God’s menu, (and Panera’s) and I took the opportunity to get comfortable. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be in a better place for comforting somebody else that needs it. That’s how Paul envisioned this sort of think working.
Lent is supposed to be a time of self-denial, but don’t deny yourself needed comfort. Make it your top priority, in fact. Not just the creature comforts, but the deep God-type comfort that can really nourish you and keep you going.
Did you notice? The scripture above uses the word “comfort” 4 times in one sentence. That’s a lot of comfort, my friend.
It’s okay to get comfortable…
There’s more than enough to go around.