My daughter, her hair tousled and eyes wide, came out to us long after we put her to bed. “I’m not comfortable anymore,” she announced. “I was trying to sleep and I was comfortable. But then, all of a sudden, I was uncomfortable.” She waited expectantly for us to tell her how to cure it. My husband replied, “I think you should try to lay a different way to see if that works.” Satisfied, she skipped back to bed and immediately fell asleep.
No one has to teach us to value comfort. Babies wiggle and protest until they’re firmly swaddled. Toddlers have tantrums and teenagers brood. By adulthood, we’re convinced comfort is our right. So we control the conversations we have and the image we portray. We push away the sorrow and swallow down the ache. Our medicine cabinets are full of antidotes to any physical pain we have and we’ll try them all if it means we’ll get back to being comfortable. We put a nice layer of padding between us and the world to ensure our comfort.
But what if God uses our discomfort to draw us closer to Him? In our quest for ultimate comfort, could we be missing what God wants to teach us right here, right now? Perhaps those very areas we’ve worked so hard to ignore are the ones He longs to free in us. “Feeling the pain is the first step toward healing the pain,” Lysa TerKeurst writes. “The longer we avoid the feeling, the more we delay our healing. We can numb it, ignore it, pretend it doesn’t exist, but all those options lead to an eventual breakdown, not a breakthrough.”
Perhaps you need a reminder today that God has more in store for you than a life of comfort. When we allow fear of our pain to guide us, we miss out on the hope that He longs to hand us. In our discomfort, we must fight against numbing the pain. Instead, lean hard into the words of David in Psalm 34:10: “those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” May Christ bring you true comfort as you allow Him to fill you with a love that leads to true healing.