Now, don’t get me wrong… there is nothing bad about snuggling up in a blanket when you’re cold or seeking safe arms in the midst of pain.
It’s just a bit more involved than that.
The Lord has gently been showing me that He ultimately desires to be My Comforter. He is jealous for my attention, for my love and for my heart. He longs to proverbially hold me when I am upset, to be the first one I go to when I am excited and to counsel me through the ups and downs of life.
And yet it is hard to turn to God for comfort.
When He seems completely inaccessible to me – distant and intangible – how could I turn to Him when I have quick, easy fixes in an instant-gratification world. Dare I wait for anything anymore… right?
I was once told that sin is simply “meeting legitimate desires in illegitimate ways” and this has stuck with me since. It is an extremely applicable definition; one that not only brings light to the symptoms of sin in my behavior, but also brings light to the desires in my heart and soul.
While this is a good and better way to address sin in our lives, it is also a hands-on, down-and-dirty method that brings me face-to-face with deep, messy issues I would often times rather ignore.
Figuring out your desires is scary. Acknowledging what you really want is scary. Risking the disappointment of not having those desires met is scary. Which is why (I think) many people don’t go there. We would rather not dig through the murky depths of their souls, unearthing long-forgotten dreams, re-opening wounds that never healed and facing the aching void within our being.
But I long for hope, for healing and for redemption in my inner-most parts.
And so does Jesus. It’s kind of like His favorite work ever. 🙂
And that brings me back to this comfort thing. I have realized through countless, painful, memory-dredging times with the Lord that I have a deep desire to be comforted to the core of my being. Comfort that truly only He can offer me.
But the problem with being a Christian who is following Jesus means that comfort is often times one of the first things to be chucked out the window. Not because God doesn’t care, but because following Jesus is at treacherous road filled with persecution.
So… here I am at an incredible impasse. I know I live in a fallen world where perfect fellowship with God is not possible until He returns and makes all things new. I know that I signed up for a tough journey of suffering and yet I also know that He is the only one who can fulfill this great ache within me.
So I stumbled upon this scripture before (trying to validate my beliefs about the Christian life being one that shares in Christ’s sufferings) and was pleasantly surprised to have God meet me in my search and also offer comfort. Check it out:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.
– 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Cool, right? Wicked cool.
This then led me to look up “Advocate” in my Bible dictionary, which is defined as the following:
The Holy Spirit is the Advocate of the Father with us, therefore our Comforter. As applied to the Holy Spirit, the Greek word is so rich in meaning that adequate translation by any one English word is impossible… if it is taken in the fullest sense of one who not only consoles but also strengthens, helps and counsels, with such authority as a legal advocate has for his client.
And so somehow, I feel humbled to be corrected and yet incredibly comforted at the same time. God is good to love me in this capacity. I am grateful beyond words for the gift of the Holy Spirit within me and will admit that I do not tap into this incredible presence enough -ever.
But I want to. I long to meet God in the midst of my desires and let Him be enough for me.
So I guess, in a way, I have a new desire within me: a desire for more perfect, whole intimacy with my creator.