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Tuesday, November 01, 2016

The Four Needs: Comfort

Comfort is a cow.  

You probably didn’t think of it as such before, did you?  Neither did i.  But it fits rather well.  Sleek, luxuriant, docile, idly chewing her cud and blandly watching the world go by.  Self-serving, irresistible in size, she just bulls her way into your thoughts and sits down on your lap, and moos, “i’m bored.”  “i’m hungry.”  “i’m lonely.”  “This is making me anxious, i just want to (fill in the blank).”  

Cuz that’s what comfort does.  It fills in the blanks.  The empty spaces we think God has not filled in our lives.  God didn’t give me a job i like so i need this to stay sane.  God didn’t give me a husband/wife who loves me so i need this to fend off the loneliness, to feel wanted.  God didn’t give me joy or peace today so i need this to feel full, satisfied, comfortable.  Everything and everyone are just things to be used to satiate our longings.  i had a rough day, i need this time to write and draw (oh cruel irony!), this drink, this porn, this gossip, this hobby, this teevee, this gym, this video game, this person, this child, this church service, to feel good, to feel right, to feel even, to feel WHOLE.  

Forty days Moe was up on Mount Sinai.  The people got anxious.  The people felt out of control.  Their shepherd had led them far from their masters.  And now their shepherd was gone.  They felt a gap, a blank in their lives.  “And the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, and the people gathered opposite Aaron, and they said to him, “Come, make for us gods who will go before us, because this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
And Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring it to me.” And all the people took off the rings of gold that were on their ears and brought it to Aaron. And he took from their hand, and he shaped it with a tool, and he made it a cast-image bull calf, and they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
And Aaron saw, and he built an altar before it, and Aaron called, and he said, “A feast for Yahweh tomorrow.” And they started early the next day, and they offered burnt offerings, and they presented fellowship offerings, and the people sat to eat and drink, and they rose up to revel.” (Ex 32)

“Waiting for Moses, waiting for Yahweh, is too hard.  Putting off pleasures (that may never come!) is stupid.  This life is all you have,” Comfort lows to you, “look around, see what this place has to offer.  We can make a little heaven right here on earth.  Fasting is stupid.  You were made to eat.  You’re a sexual being, a human with needs, she doesn’t understand, he never even sees you anymore.  One more for the road, you can handle it.  It’s going to be legal everywhere soon and you need to unwind, you do a lot for people and they don’t appreciate it.  You need to love yourself too.  No one else is looking out for you.  You don’t want to read the Bible, it’s boring, you need sleep anyway.”

The problem starts with a perceived need.  A longing if you will.  And that is good because it’s true.  i will not deny your needs.  Your gaps.  Your blanks.  They exist.  Our problem isn’t that we need, it’s that we don’t need enough!  Ask the addict at the end of his rope, there is never enough!  Because you were made for infinity!  Infinite pleasure, infinite joy, infinite life, infinite love, an Infinite God!  As C.S. Lewis so eloquently put it, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”  You are going to feel the lack and the longing for as long as you live in this world.  Even more of Him will only make you desire more of Him but the veil is torn!  Easter has come!  We know whom we serve and where He is. “‘Child, you are always with me, and everything I have belongs to you.” (Luke 15)  We can KNOW the Day is coming, when you will eat the bread and drink the wine in the presence of the only lover you have ever truly had!

And i don’t promise you, HE promises you, (quotes nearly the whole Bible) you will be satisfied.  


  1. Doug Tharp1/11/16

    Thanks Shane! That hit me with both barrels, right in the heart. I needed this time to waltz! Repent, Believe, Fight!

  2. Jsmacksem1/11/16

    Good stuff Shane. Very insightful and to the heart. I resonate.