Comfort is good. After spending hours in heels that made me a giant, and a beautiful dress last night, I was ready to curl into bed. I had an amazing time with friends, everyone looked amazing. But my feet could hardly walk, and I was ready for pyjamas and a hoodie. I love to feel comfy. Fresh seats on the bed. Plumped up cushions. Woollen picnic rugs. Fluffy blankets. Memory foam slippers. I love these things, because they make me comfy.
God is our Comoforter. (Isaiah 66:13)
But I don't think comfort is always a good thing. There are times when it is very important. There are times when we just breakdown, everything goes wrong, there is all this pain and suffering, and so we need to be comforted. But when things are going well, we don't need to get too comfy.
It's happened many times, there is things that I need to be doing, work, making, finishing things off, but I curl up in the blanket, or I sit on the sofa, or I snuggle into bed, for what starts off as a minute or two, but in the end I am too comfy to move so I stay there for hours and nothing gets done.
It is easy to get like this with God too. He is our Comforter. He is mighty and powerful. He is forgiving and loving. He is 'I Am'. There are so many things that God is. But sometimes we take the comfort too far. We start to fall into an easy pattern of faith, but to build things they need to be stretched and challenged. When you start school and start learning Maths, you are taught 1+1=2, if no-one had ever stretched or challenged you, you would still only know 1+1=2. Our faith and relationship with God needs to be built upon, challenged and stretched otherwise it will never get any stronger.
Going to Church every Sunday, reading your Bible regularly, giving direct debits to charity. These things come as a challenge, but we can't just stop there. We need to build His kingdom. We need to go into the world and make relationships with people. We need to meet with the lost, the oppressed and the broken, and we need to talk to them. We need to show them love. We need to take our faith into actions, we need to be active Kingdom-builders. It is hard, meeting with the brokenness face to face is never going to be a walk in the park, but with God with you, you will be able to face it, and you will be able to show love, and you will be able to change lives, give hope, and build the Kingdom.
“There is debris all around us, washing onto our shores. We can choose to ignore it, move away from it, insulate our lives so we do not have to engage with it. But in doing so we will create a life full of pale pleasures and uneasy satisfaction. We will miss out on living a great life, settling for good and safe.
We have the choice, every day: are we running towards the misery in the heart of God, or are we running away?” - DL Mayfield, A Deeper Story
Let's not have a comfy faith, let's be the comforted but active, Kingdom-builders. Let's seek out the broken, let's come face to face, and not hide away. Let us tear up our blankets and our shields, let us open our arms to and welcome the broken, let's understand, and join them in, their plea. God will comfort us, and care for us, but let's not be scared of the mess, let's not hide from the mess, but let's look at it in the face, for once we have understood what is there, we can start to build wholeness from the brokenness.