I caught myself looking for comfort.
Where do you grasp on to comfort in your life? We all do it. It is an illness of humanity. Our need, our desire, to grasp tightly on to comfort.
After denouncing all things comfortable and leaving everything behind in the states, publicly declaring my desire to live “intentionali” (I’m sorry. It’s a terribly, convenient pun), I moved to Africa just to begin my search for comfort all over again. It was a desperate search, one I was not cognitively aware of until it was staring me in the face as I sat on my living room floor last weekend.
Thoughts of my search for comfort began before I even arrived in Uganda. I left my favorite blanket in NYC, maybe a soft African blanket would bring me comfort. Sadly no, without air conditioning it is too warm most nights for even a thin sheet. Then I thought, “Some old fashion comfort food might satisfy my longing.” So, I made meatloaf and mashed potatoes and cookies, for all the other interns and me. My stomach did not agree with it though, it was not comfortable. "I wish I had a comforting candle" I thought, something that smells like home. I couldn’t fit any good candles in my luggage (although I tried very hard, pathetic thinking about it now). Maybe a candle would bring the comfort I longed for…
What void was I trying to fill by searching for comfort in anything I could grab a hold of?
I am so thankful I have a nice and safe place to sleep at night, a roof over my head and food on the table. Shouldn’t that be enough? Why did I move all the way to Africa just to spend my days constantly searching for comfort? One more piece of chocolate, one more glass of wine, *nod your head with me*-- we all do it.
Last year, in law school, I started having trouble winding down at night. After a day filled with school and studying, it was hard to shut it off. So, I added something to my nighttime routine. To get to sleep at night, after I crawled in my big comfy bed, with my air conditioning on 68, my down comforter tucked tightly around me and my big fluffy goldendoodle snuggled at my side, I started reading a chapter of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A classic C.S. Lewis story, written for children mind you, that is a rendition of the Christ story. It brought me comfort, it took my mind off whatever legal concept I had been studying, and focused it on something lighter, it focused it on things above.
If only I had thought to bring it with me. I managed to bring every other book I love, except for that one.
To be honest, the thought of wanting that book never crossed my mind. I am having no trouble sleeping here at night, quite frankly I am exhausted when I go to bed. It wasn’t the kind of comfort I was desperately searching for. But, like Ephesians 3:20 says, God really does gives us more than we can ask or IMAGINE.
So, while cleaning and organizing our book shelf last weekend, with its muddled collection of left-over books interns have left behind over the years, guess what book I stumbled upon? Yes. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I was stopped dead in my tracks.
And it was as if God’s comfort for me was tangible. It is tangible. We do not always recognize its tangibility, but it is right there for us to see, if we open our eyes to see it.
His comfort through warm sunshine, or a rainy, restful Sunday afternoon. His comfort through words of encouragement from friends, or through His words of encouragement in the Bible. God’s comfort is everywhere. If we simply stop seeking comfort in the world for long enough to “be still and know”, then we will find His comfort all around us.
God gave me that book because He knew I needed a wake-up call. “STOP SEEKING COMFORT AND SEEK ME.” He yelled, as I sat on the floor of my living room, staring at the C.S. Lewis classic in my hands. So, I am choosing to listen, I am choosing to seek comfort in the one who invented it.
Do you need a wake-up call? Maybe its sitting on your bookshelf waiting for you. Whatever and wherever your wake up call is, I hope you find it. Life is more satisfying when we do not rely on the comfort found in earthly things, while healthy enjoyment is good, we have to always remember that the comforts of the world never last. This week I hope you seek with me, as I pursue the comfort that will last an eternity.
February 25th, 2019 WEEKLY UPDATE:
Days left in the Field: 292
Fundraising Completed: 78%
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