Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ugly Comfort

Last night I was prayer walking around our church courtyard with some folks for the church in preparation of this weekend's spring revival, and I noticed that the ugliest feature of our courtyard are these two air conditioning units. It made me think of how our comfort can become ugly to our Father when we put it first before loving Him and others.

I'm reminded of Jesus' parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:18-21: "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

Christ did not put His "comfort" ahead of His mission, and I'm glad He didn't. He struggled in the garden on the way to the cross, but He still went to the cross, suffered and died for us. In doing so, He purchased our salvation at His expense.

The path to greatness is usually not the path of ease or comfort, yet how many of us get sidetracked seeking and/or maintaining just that! God does "comfort" us, but not by making life easier...the English word "comfort" can be traced back to the Latin root
fortis meaning to strengthen...literally to "come along side to strengthen." Now that's the kind of "comfort" God likes to bring us (as opposed to make us lazy kind of comfort!). God comes along side us to bring us renewed strength so that we can pass that comfort on to others in need (see II Cor. 1:3,4).

Lately, God has given me some unexpected and powerful opportunities to see how the comfort He brings is far, far superior to anything I might seek on my own...mainly because His comfort consists mainly of His presence in my life, and knowing in an ever-increasing way that He really means it when He says He loves me period, unconditionally, and independent of my circumstances.

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