Comfort in the Unknown

These days are not comfortable. We are being stretched and pulled, twisted and grown. There are moments when it feels like this season will last forever. The pages which we thought held the plans for our future have been ripped out, and the jagged edges grate at every nerve.

 Our generation was never prepared or expecting the turn of events that have become our new normal. There were no lessons or preparation for living life in a COVID-19 world. How should we as Christians approach a planet in crisis? How should we live our lives in the midst of a an upheaval of everything that we know?

 Many of us have experienced a sense of loss as we saw bits of our lives irrevocably changed. The uncertainty of the future might have stirred up old fears within you, or caused the birth of new concerns.

 And now come the days when we are meant to pick up the pieces. It’s time to move forward, but that’s easier said than done. For some of us, the unknown future looms like a heavy cloud, tinging even the present with a darkness which is difficult to ignore.

 If you are struggling with fear of the unknown in these unprecedented times, you are not alone. But God loves us too much to let us live in fear. He is calling us out and He wants to give us the solution to fear.

“In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” - Psalm 118: 5-6

 Now here is the difficult caveat: our comfort can’t come from our control. If you are like me, you feel more comfortable when you have a modicum of control – or at least, the semblance of control.

 But when we place our sense of peace on the things we think we can control, it is like trying to balance a glass on top of a card tower – precarious and subject to accidents.

 The only thing we can truly control is where we place our trust. Perhaps, the best use of that control is giving it to the Creator of the heavens and the earth, the One who holds everything in the palm of His hand. Only then can we find comfort in the unknown.

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” - Proverbs 3:6

 I think another problem that we run into, is misunderstanding the meaning of the word “comfort”. To ‘comfort’ means to alleviate distress. Comfort is a verb, it is an action, and the Holy Spirit is the one doing the action; we are the ones receiving that comfort.

 Too often, we tend to equate the meaning of comfort with ‘comfortable’. To be ‘comfortable’ means to be in physical ease and relaxation. I don’t think we are called to be comfortable and we certainly were never promised a comfortable life on earth.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” -  James 1:2-4

 We are called to persevere through discomfort with the knowledge that the Holy Spirit will be sent to alleviate our distress. If we were never to feel discomfort, then we might miss out on the intimate experience of being comforted by the Holy Spirit.

 The closest I’ve ever felt to God was when I had absolutely nothing to sustain me except Him. Remembering the moment of my greatest weakness is what reassures me the most in my belief of His presence. It’s no surprise that when He pulled me out of a pit, I could feel His arms around me.

“I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.” - Psalm 118:13-14

 No matter how big the obstacles we face in life, God is bigger. We may fall, but He will pick us back up and nurse us in our pain. We will face trials, but that certainty should not cripple us with fear. No matter how difficult our circumstances, God will meet us in that moment with comfort and then the grace and the strength to go on.
 
“But they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” - Isaiah 40:31

 It’s easy to see the tribulations we are facing in 2020. Our attention is continually directed toward the negative and sensational things happening in the world. With this kind of coverage, it can be easy to start to overestimate the enemy’s work. We begin to live in a bondage to fear and actually cripple ourselves instead of walking in the powerful lives God has for us.

“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” -  John 16:33

There is no version of the world where Jesus does not emerge triumphant. He is actually the safest place we could ever go. He has given us the winning formula, so we have absolutely nothing to fear. Instead, we have the power to place our trust in Jesus and believe that He will care for us in the midst of the craziness.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, "Abba, Father."

Author | Mackenzie Wells

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