I remember catching myself mid-checkout on Amazon. I was seven months pregnant with my son, and this Amazon cart was filled with everything we didn't receive at our baby shower. I stared at the long list of swaddles, bottles, sleep sacs, and books, desperately hoping that these items would comfort my new-mom fears. I realized I went to Amazon, when I should have gone to God.
Maybe you've been there, too. Grabbing the ice cream carton to cope with a break up. Building a copious savings because you just "never know." Tuning out a stressful day with a binge-worthy Netflix show.
During these times, you may have wondered: is pursuing comfort selfish? It's a great question, and one that we have to wrestle with in almost every area of our life: our finances, our relationships, our time, etc. It begs an even better question, "What am I running to to give me comfort?"
OUR DESIRE FOR COMFORT
When sin entered the world in Genesis 3, we immediately became creatures that needed a Comforter. God promised one day the seed of a woman would crush the head of the serpent. Every day and every hour we feel the sting of sin and the need for a Savior. The longing for a good and comfortable life is knit into the fabric of who we are–it is a longing for communion with God. We long for fears to cease. We hope for diseases to disappear. We yearn for relationships to be restored, for safety, for joy, and for peace.
These longings are not bad. But often, we seek things of the world to alleviate a hunger that only Jesus satisfies. My heart's desire to prepare a safe, welcoming home for my son is a good desire. However, I used this Amazon haul to bandage my fears, instead of laying them at the feet of the Healer and Sustainer Himself. Though a bluetooth sound machine may make bedtime a little smoother for my husband and I, that sound machine will not end my anxieties about my son's sleep habits. Though a heart rate monitor may give temporary peace of mind, this technology will not silence my fear for my son's safety–only Jesus can.
THE ROOT OF OUR DESIRES
"May your faithful love comfort me as you promised your servant." – Psalm 119:76
This verse reminds us that God's unfailing love is enough to comfort us. His promises are the stable ground we can build our life upon. He promises to be near (James 4:8). He promises to give us perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). He promises protection (Psalm 12:8). He promises grace, restoration, and that we will be welcomed into His family. Dear friend, God's promises are enough.
Let us learn to take every thought captive and determine its roots. Consider the following questions the next time you find yourself pursuing the world's comfort over the Lord's.
What feelings are in the driver's seat of my decision-making right now?
What do I think I need?
What am I seeking after to fill this need? Is this a pattern?
How does God meet this need or fulfill this desire?
Do I believe God is enough to meet my needs?
If you're like me, sometimes slowing down enough to bring my cares before the Lord is the hardest part. Seeking a good and comfortable life is not bad, but we may need to honestly evaluate what we consider to be "good" and "comfortable." Jesus extends a generous invitation to us–we can exchange our burdens for His rest, our fears for peace, and our lack for fullness of life.
I stopped mid-Amazon checkout that day and prayed for God to calm the storms of fear in my soul. I exchanged questions of Will baby boy sleep well? Is his nursery ready? And Am I prepared? for the truth that matters–God's unfailing love is enough for me today. I removed half of what was in my cart. Though a small act of faith, it was a step toward trusting God in this new journey of motherhood. At the root of my desire for comfort, was actually a desire for more of God. I am sure this is at the root of your desire, too.