No matter how comfortable something may be, it is bound to bring discomfort our way eventually. Is that not the most frustrating truth ever spoken? You and I can live in a comfortable “moment” but we can not dwell in “earthly comfort land”. Every grea thing on this earth is eventually coming to an end. Last week, we talked about what comfort was and why we desire it. Today, we are going to go a step deeper and discuss the earthly comforts and the damage they can do.
Let me tell you what REALLY gets me. Last Christmas, my awesome parents gave me two gifts that I absolutely loved. One was a set of top of the line pillows and the other was a set of flannel sheets. You know you are getting old when household items make you crazy with excitement! I put the new sheets on the bed, fluffed up my new pillows and proceeded to lay down in the most phenomenal sea of comfort that I had ever experienced. Let me warn you, if you ever spend a night on flannel sheets, you will never go back to cotton! I slept like a rock and loved every second of it. The problem came the next morning…when I had to get up at 6:30 AM to get ready for work. Dragging myself from that bed was seriously the hardest thing to do. Full disclosure, that was almost a year ago, and I still feel the same way nearly every morning!
We can not take earthly comfort with us. I could not take the comfort of my bed to work with me. In order to experience the comfort of my bed, I had to stay there. If I wanted to have another comfort fix from my bed, I had to return to it. I could not get the effect of the comfort that it provided unless I went to it.
Are you a lover of tangible things? I want to touch it and feel it. I always prefer a book over a device, a hand written note over an email and a real live flower over a colorful emoji. We are people of senses and in this age of social media, we are becoming more visually drawn than ever before. We want to experience the immediate sound, feel, smell or look of whatever brings us comfort. This is why we are so often pulled towards the comforts of this world.
What are the things that bring you earthly comfort?
I think that we can all relate to this list. We feel like those are things that we can both control and provide for ourselves. The truth is, often time, we can make those things happen for ourselves… temporarily. However, all earthly comforts have an expiration date and a price.
The Woman at the Well
This topic of earthly comfort makes me think of the woman at the well in John 4:6-29. What was going on in her mind and heart that made her so unhappy that she found herself in a lifestyle of moving from man to man? No doubt, she entered each new relationship with anticipation that this was going to be the “one” that fulfilled her. I imagine that her hopes flew high only to crash on the rocks of disappointment and emptiness again.
My heart has always gone out to this poor woman. Could you imagine having five ex husbands? What kept going wrong? Were these men abusive, poor providers or unfaithful? Did she have a roaming eye, a bad temper or was not a good cook? There was clearly a problem here.
“The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband.’ For you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” -NKJ
After five divorces, the poor girl had probably decided that marriage was just not for her! However, she still longed for the earthly comfort that came from having someone in her life.
Is that not true of you and me too? We have been burned over and over by something, yet we always end up returning to it.
Sister, earthly comfort is going to leave you feeling empty, lonely, used and worthless, just like our friend at the well felt. Her loneliness sent her to find a husband, yet no matter how great he may have been, he could not fill her empty soul.
How do you respond when you feel like you have been poured out by someone but they do not even attempt to fill you back up? Maybe betrayed and then angry? I sure did. Thankfully, I have not been in a situation like that for a very long time, but after my anger had settled in, my verbal filter was gone! Yes, I am embarrassed to admit it, but in my moment of frustration, I spoke my mind in every way! Of course, this caused the situation to get even worse until there was just nothing left to salvage. Is this what the woman at the well went through? Did she believe that there was nothing left to save in her marriage, so she moved on to the next man? We do not know, but that is a possibility.
What are the lasting effects of earthly comfort? There is an endless list, but in the case of the woman at the well, it was shame, depression and reclusiveness. You see, she tried to fill her need for comfort with earthly things and they left her fill all kinds of discomfort every waking moment. She was going out to draw water in the heat of the day to avoid having to see anyone. She could not hold her head up in front of her neighbors, sit in the town’s market place and sew with the other ladies or invite people into her home for dinner. Her lifestyle choices were trying to ruin her life…and then, Jesus walked on the scene!
Friend, Satan tempts us with every earthly comfort from relationships to food to designer handbags. While there is nothing wrong with any of those things, if they are all we fill our lives with, we will end up lonely, diabetic and broke! Don’t forget, Satan’s plan for you is to steal, kill and destroy. John 10:10.
Go back to the bed story at the beginning. Remember I said that in order for me to experience the comfort of it, I had to go to it? That is true of Jesus too! He is our only true comfort and everyday He is inviting us to come to Him for the unselfish, unconditional, free comfort that He provides for our heart and soul. There is always an abundance of it and the side effects of His comfort are peace, joy and hope. Who couldn’t use a huge dose of that today?!
Let me encourage you to find your comfort in Jesus. Protect your heart from the pain that this world has to offer. It’s comforts are cheap counterfeits compared to the wellspring of life that Jesus wants to establish in you!
Don’t Keep A Secret!