O God of all comfort, comfort my heart tonight.
I wrote out the words to Ellie Holcomb’s song the other night and it was because I needed the words.
I am a practical person. I like black and white. I’m not a “ride the fence” kind of girl. I am a let’s all play by the rules and I feel safe. I like to see the boundaries. I like to understand how things work and keep safe. But sometimes God pulls me out of my comfort my zone.
Sometimes God pulls me into the deep end of the pool. He will drag me, force me, or push me out to the unknown because He knows I won’t voluntarily swim there myself. He pushes me to a place where I have to stand up and be safe, when nothing around me feels safe.
With adoption, I don’t feel safe. I don’t know who we will be bringing home in June. I have no idea if he will sleep through the night, be rough and rowdy or scared and timid. I don’t know if he will run or withdraw. I don’t know what his medical needs will do to our family. It causes my heart to be a little anxious and know I really don’t know him (yet).
With our family’s plans for the future, I get anxious and scared. I’m not one to shy away from things I’m called to do – but sometimes I wonder, is this God’s will? And I find myself treading water and feel shameful for asking for a little help.
But it is all about help. It is silly to think I can survive all of the unknowns and hard things coming into our family all by myself. God pushes me out where I can’t touch solid ground, and invites the waves to start rocking the boat. The storm is not to test me, as much as it is to see if I will call on Him. He isn’t standing on the shore watching me struggle, wondering if my faith will outlast the storm.
Jesus walked out on the water to the disciples. He chided them about their faith, but don’t miss this: He came to them. Yes, Jesus walked on water (which is amazing and a miracle) but sometimes what my heart needs is a comforter, not a miracle-maker. Jesus came to the disciples. So, don’t miss the details.
1. Jesus caused the storm. As master of all of creation, He surely caused the storm.
2. He didn’t calm the waves from the shore, He came to them when they needed help.
3. He chided them for their lack of faith IN HIM.
In the dark, when the lies start coming in, I need to fight them with truth. The truth is: I can’t do it all, but Jesus is with me. As I said before, I’m a concrete person. So sometimes I can’t “feel” the presence of the Savior. In those moments, I get out the physical book of the Bible and open the pages. I find the verses I know are directly for me. I read them. I hear them. I listen to the truth living in those words.
When the storm of anxiety is threatening my little life, I lift my eyes to the Savior and praise His name. I turn some worship music on, ignore the sighs from my children, and turn up the volume as I wash dishes. I listen to TRUTH in song.
Friend, the God of comfort is a comfort to us. But we are to be His hands and feet as well. As the darkness tries to seep into my heart, I begin to look out. Depression and anxiety would like us to focus inward….wondering if peace can be found in deeper introspective work. Sometimes it is necessary to dig deep in our souls and uncover the wounds, but sometimes we need to look away from ourselves. If I’m feeling alone and empty, I reach out to those around me. Sometimes I just pray. For the widow living across the street from me. For the friend who lost her baby last year. For the ones struggling with special needs and adoption heartaches. I pray for them, but tangible ways are sometimes the best for me as a practical person. So I keep notecards in my desk. I pull one out, and write a note. A verse. I stick a verse card in with it and send it in the mail. There is something so freeing about lifting others up to the God of all comfort.
Here are my THREE practical ways I find comfort in God during times of anxiety:
1. Open God’s word and read the Bible. Great places to read are here on my reading list for anxiety or depression. You can also download my truth cards there to battle sadness.
2. Turn on praise music. Turn it on and if you don’t have any, check out any of this music. Download some today on your phone and turn it up.
3. Comfort others. Mail a card. Write an email. Send a text. Be creative. Reach out and comfort those around you. Pick someone close to you, or someone you’ve been praying for and reach out. I’ve send cards and notes to people I’ve been praying for, even though I’ve only known them through friends of friends. Its ok. I think I would love to get a card or note from someone who was praying for me, even if I didn’t’ know them.