As God has called me further along on a spiritual and physical health journey he has shown me I have used food as a comfort, a mind-numbing agent, or a reward for hard work. He used a mundane park trip with my youngest to highlight this for me. He spoke so clearly through this everyday experience.
When at the park with my youngest son he found a big green hill to roll down. With wild abandoning he started to roll. Suddenly he was screaming in agony. I raced to him and found he had rolled on top of bee and was stung. As I held him close, the first thought that came to my mind was just tell him "It'll be okay we’ll go get a popsicle and you’ll feel better." In that instant I caught myself and took that thought captive, telling myself “I am not going to teach him to comfort himself with food.” What he needed was for me just to be with him and comfort him while he felt the pain until it passed. I knew the sting wouldn't last long and he would be okay. I heard God say, “Just like you need to sit with me, let me be your comfort and the pain, anxiety, discomfort, hard stuff will pass.” Wow, just wow. God make a new heart in me.
It’s so easy to turn to other things to comfort us. It is human instinct to run after stress relief, joy replacer, or a way to change circumstances. We are taught at an early age to get rid of emotions as quickly as possible and seek a way to feel better. God’s word calls us to find comfort in Jesus. It promises that we share abundantly in his comfort. 2 Corinthians 1 3-5 says,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
What do I use to comfort myself?
What is God asking me to surrender to him in the arena of comfort?