I Need a Break

28 Aug

Photo by Charles Huff

Comfort. Where do we find it? How do we define it? Do we recognize it when it’s right in front of us?

Jesus said those who mourn are blessed for they will receive comfort from God. Paul exhort us to comfort one another with the comfort we have received. When everything around us batters our sense of direction, stability, and worth; it’s hard to find the comfort.

How do we access it? How do we connect?

I remember a friend who had experienced a tragedy so great that he wanted only to get blind drunk. I stayed with him to keep him safe. Justification: doesn’t Proverbs say something about giving strong drink so a man can forget his sorrow? My friend succeeded in his goal. In his case it worked. He was finally able to release his grief. And he also got so sick, he never got drunk again. Even so, I don’t have this strategy on my solutions list.

I have often sought escape through other more acceptable means. Get alone in nature and let the tension drain out as I observe the beauty and wonder around me as I vent to God. (Yes, those two can work together and simultaneously.)

Doing something on the opposite end of the pendulum swing. Go to a museum or theme park, watch a comedy movie, have dinner with my wife, or when circumstances are right, take a getaway for a night or two. Sometimes these allow me to get far enough from the turmoil to allow my mind to have a fresh approach.

Beyond these things, we could add hobbies, crafts, even work if our emotional earthquake is at home in the family. Any one of them provide an opportunity to clear our minds and refocus. Sometimes, that is sufficient. Other times, we return from our quiet place only to find our situation still unstable and perhaps volatile.

A better place to go to:

The Bible contains stronger recommendations that provide comfort and peace beyond understanding. The good news is there are far more than I have room to list. Search the scriptures and you will find the one perfect for you
.
The Book of Psalms have many calming declarations.

“I was crying to the LORD with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain,” (Psalm 3:4 NASB).

All eight verses of Psalm 121.

“When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I,” (Psalm 61:2b, NKJV). But, again, the entire Psalm.

Psalm 23 and especially verse 4: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me,” (NKJV).

Jesus shared his own encouragements:

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you,” (John 14:18, NASB).

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33, NASB).

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11, NASB).

If that isn’t enough, the apostles shared their own discoveries through the persecution and suffering they saw and experienced.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all [d]comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:6-7, NASB).

“I pray that the eyes of your heart [x]may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the [y]saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe,” (Ephesians 1:18, NASB).

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you,” (1 Peter 5:6-7, NASB).

These are but a sample. I want to share something that happened years ago but still encourages me today. It was a time of trauma and failure, but Jesus proved himself trustworthy and faithful.

When my second born was thirteen months old, he contracted spinal meningitis. The part of my heart which was not torn with grief was angry that God had allowed such a thing. I feared what my little one’s future might be like or how short it might be. Through the raging storm in my soul, I heard God say he knew just how I felt. My first thought was, “You are God. You are above sickness and calamity. You know the end from the beginning. How could you possibly know how I feel?”

Unruffled, he simply said, “Because I went through it with my Son.”

My arrogance crashed down on me and smothered the raging fire of anger, rebellion, and pain. I repented, and God turned my mourning into dancing. The doctors were amazed at my son’s speedy recovery and without any effects remaining.

Do you have favorite comfort verses? Please share them.

If you have a memory of the Lord’s help and comfort, let me know. You can be a guest blogger on this site. Remember, Paul exhorts us to comfort one another with the comfort given us.

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