Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. II Corinthians 1:3-4
Very early in life, my mother used to buy those boxes of macaroni and powdered cheese, cook the macaroni to just the right softness, and drain the water off. Then she would pour milk over it, open the little envelope of cheese, pour it in, stir it up and heat it up. Before she put it in saucer bowls for us to eat, she would grate medium cheddar cheese over the top and serve.
One bowl of it made the world seem all sweetness and joy. Years later, someone described such dishes as “comfort food.”
Comfort comes in many different packages during our lives. It comes in packages of macaroni and cheese, and it comes with hugs and kisses. It comes in recliner chairs, and it comes on pricey mattresses.
It comes in those “snuggles” that you can wrap around you while watching your favorite TV show on a cold winter’s night, and it comes in the right relationships.
In my book The Perils and Parables of Pastor Preechet, the family moves from a small town in California to a mid-sized city in North Carolina.
The family has been comfortable with the church, the schools, and the community at large. But now, they are about to make the biggest move of their lives. They’re packing up and moving to North Carolina.
To do so, they must give up their comfortability of the known for the risks of the unknown.
They leave the familiar to embark upon the unfamiliar. They leave a well-established church where they are loved, respected, and supported, to a dysfunctional church where they do not know a soul.
Ever been there? Probably not in the same sense as the Preechet family, but most of us have moved from one community to another. We have moved to new places, organizations, schools, churches into unknown, uncharted territory.
Two men came to Jesus promising to follow Him. The first was told that, should he do so, he likely would not have a place to sleep, since Jesus didn’t have any place to lay his head at night.
The second put a condition on his promise. “Before I follow, I need to take time for my aging father before he dies.”
We do not know whether either followed Him, but had they done so, they would have risked their lives. or, you see, at the end of those conversations, Jesus got into a boat and His disciples followed Him. The boat came perilously close to breaking apart in a massive thunderstorm. Upon the urgency pleas of the disciples, Jesus awakened from a deep sleep and ordered the storm to stop. It did!
When we follow Jesus, He never bypasses the storms. He wades right through them and we follow knowing that, as the Great Shepherd, His rod and His staff help fend off the predators and vultures that would eat us alive.
The words of the Apostle Paul quoted at the beginning of our Blogspiration for the day are true. The God of all comfort, comforts us in all our troubles, so we can comfort others.
Knowing this, we can follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd wherever He takes us, bringing His comfort to whatever we may face.