Macaroni and cheese. Chicken and dumplings. Chicken Noodle Soup. Chocolate Chip cookies. Can’t you almost taste these amazing foods? There’s just something about these particular foods we find comforting when the week has been long and our day has been hard. They remind us of days gone by when we were younger and our moms and grandmothers would express their love for us by making a home-cooked meal. Unfortunately, we’re no longer ten-years old, and sometimes, comfort food doesn’t quite ease the pain of a difficult day. So what’s a person to do?
Have you ever wondered if there’s such a thing as heavenly comfort food? I know this sounds strange, but think about it for a moment. God is the God of all Comfort, is He not? He alone knows all of the hurt, heartaches, and brokenness we experience. When no one else knows the extent of how much we’ve been hurt by a particular person or situation, God does. He is also the One who created humans and had the forethought to create us so that we would find comfort, love, and joy in something as simple as a home-cooked meal. So doesn’t it stand to reason God has His own version of comfort food for His children?
Honestly, I didn't think this verse really applied to me at this time in my life. No one close to me has died, nor have I lost anything. Since I'm not in mourning, it stands to reason I don’t need to be comforted. However, when I read this verse from The Message I realized God’s comfort isn’t simply for those who are in mourning. The Message says, "You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you."
Since I was first diagnosed with lupus eleven years ago, I’ve come to understand an important truth about sickness and disease – Sickness is a thief; it doesn’t discriminate. Anyone living with a chronic illness has dealt with the unfairness that comes with sickness. It not only steals a person’s health, but his independence, time, money, security, and sometimes it even steals and/or destroys a person’s relationships with others. So I think we can all say we’ve lost something dear to us because of a chronic illness.
I used to think God didn’t care about all I had lost and the hurt I was feeling over each loss. For a long time, I hid behind a tough exterior and told everyone I was fine, including God. But in all actuality, I was deeply saddened by all I was going through and I wanted nothing more than to go to bed, pull the covers over my head, and hide. When I finally cried out to God in anger, frustration, and sadness, a remarkable thing began to happen. I began to feel God's presence in a way I had never experienced. I knew I wasn't alone in my pain. There were times I laid in my bed crying and could almost feel God's arms around me holding and comforting me through the sorrow.
Because of this, I learned how important it is to go to God about everything. Yes, He is a big God, yet despite His greatness He cares about the smallest details of our lives. If you look at the original Greek word used in Matthew 5:4 for “comforted,” it actually combines two words which mean “by the side of & encourage” and “to call.” So Jesus literally said that when we are sad, hurting, and broken, if we cry out to God, He will come alongside of us and encourage us.
I don’t know about you, but this amazes me! The God who created the universe isn’t too big or too busy to walk beside me in my sorrow and comfort me. In fact, Jesus said we’re blessed when we’re heartbroken because God WILL comfort us, but there is one thing we must do. Did you notice what it is? The key is we have to call out to God. "Why,” you ask. “Isn’t God supposed to know everything?” Yes, God sees us and knows our pain, but He will never force Himself on us. If we want to be angry at God and turn our backs on Him, God will love us from a distance. He will never turn His back on us, but He also won’t force us come to Him either.
I don’t know what you’re going through right now or the sorrow you may feel, but I encourage you to cry out to God in your sadness. I speak from experience. God does embrace you when you feel you've lost the thing dearest to you. He longs to walk beside you and encourage your heart. He has some heavenly comfort food waiting just for you, His precious child. All you have to do is ask. So pull up a chair, grab a spoon, and dig in to some heavenly comfort food.
"Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the Father who is compassionate and the God who gives comfort. He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God. Because Christ suffered so much for us, we can receive so much comfort from Him. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (GW)
© March 21, 2013