Crippled by Comfort

A wise friend* told me about a sermon she had just heard. Or maybe it was a series at her church. Or a book she’d read. Or a conversation she’d had. I don’t really know what it was, but the idea was that there are these gods we worship above our actual, real, true God.  The idols I remember her mentioning were approval, pride, and comfort. There might have been something like power or control in there too, but the ones I remember are because they struck such a chord with me.

Especially comfort.

I haven’t slept through the night in 2.5 years, so I really love my afternoon nap. I mean, really love it. Also, I spend much of my day on the living room floor playing with a train set or reading board books I’ve read 147 times, so when my kids go to bed I enjoy watching the tv shows or browsing websites that are interesting to me. I’m not talking about edifying shows or sites either, I mean really mindless stuff, like Bachelorette. These comforts are supreme above others for me, but I could write a long list of all the offerings I bring to the god of being comfortable: like not reading my Bible often, having another bowl of ice cream, passing an opportunity to burn a few calories… It goes on, all in the name of my own comfort.

My adoration of comfort has taken on a life of its own, such that I’ll avoid productivity even when I feel inspired to get something done, just because it’s been hard to motivate myself in the past. There’s this whole dialogue inside me, with voices of guilt or encouragement or shame or grace all in cacophony. It can be exhausting to worship comfort, which of course makes me then want to take another nap.

There’s a very short song by Hillsong Church (but really, words kinda by Paul the apostle and idea by God Himself) that says two short lines over and over and over:

The same power that conquered the grave lives in me, lives in me.
Your love that rescued the earth lives in me, lives in me.

Those simple truths quiet the disquiet inside me and break through the habits of comfort that drive too much of what I do. The same power that conquered the grave lives in me: why would I not give my absolute all to each day, pouring my energy wholeheartedly into this incredible life God has given me? There’s death-defeating power pouring through my veins because of Jesus’ presence with me! Not only does that mean I can ask Him for the burst of energy to clean up the kitchen, but I have access to the Strength that might someday take my little family far across the globe as missionaries, even though it seems like such a daunting idea full of hard work. As for the love that rescued the earth living in me, oh what wonder that I can pour out His love to my children, husband, family, friends–that I can choose to give grace, play that darn train set with genuine enthusiasm, and my well of love will never run dry because it’s not my love, it’s the love of the very God who rescued the earth.

Comfort needn’t cripple me anymore with its allures, though I’m sure it will try to seduce me all my days. I’ll have to put that song on repeat in my heart and live it out to the only God worthy of my worship, the One who calls me to more than comfort and gives me the power and love to live fully for Him.

*(the wise friend? daniellervargas.)


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