Craving Comfort?

As I waited in my car at a traffic light, tears came. My heart ached for my friend who had shared sad news. I also toyed with vain imaginings. What if that happens to me?

My mood darkened. And a strong craving stirred deep within me like a gluttonous creature waking up after a winter’s sleep. Restaurants on each corner of the intersection beckoned me.

“A coffee frappuccino would lift your spirits.”

I shook my head. “Too many calories.”

“How about a hamburger or ice cream?”

“No, I’m trying to lose weight!”

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I turned left and drove towards home, never realizing how many restaurants lined the main highway in our small town. My mouth watered as advertisements for tacos, barbecue pulled pork, and deli sandwiches vied for my taste buds.

“You should treat yourself to a personal pan pizza. Think of that warm mozzarella cheese…”

I clenched my teeth. “Stop obsessing over food. I’m going home where I can control what and how much I eat.”

True story!

If I hadn’t signed up for Thin Within last week, I probably would have eaten the frappuccino and the pizza. Why? Because in that instant, I would have gladly satisfied my deep, ravenous craving for a few minutes of delectable joy.

I realize now—hunger wasn’t the issue. As my friend, Heidi, says, I wanted food to alter my mood.”

Funny, I never thought of myself as eating for comfort. Other folks might eat a quart of ice cream when they were depressed, but not me. So the Holy Spirit used my circumstances to show me the truth in Thin Within’s Lesson One.

I learned experientially that consuming a quart of ice cream is no less emotionally driven than grabbing the Almond Joy just because I FEEL depressed, lonely, or sad. 

Sorrow is part of the human experience. Some days I feel like a hurt child. I want to crawl into Mother’s lap and rest. Rub my back. Kiss my bruise. Make me all better.

Only, I’m not a child and it’s important to deal with life’s pendulum of emotions by resting in the Lord rather than acquiring self-destructive habits like overeating to numb my pain.

Isn’t it just like Satan (who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy) to entice people to search for comfort in anything or anyone other than God, the Father who loves us.

God knows we need comfort. He tells us,  “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you….” (Isaiah 66:13 NIV)

Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless….” (John 14:18)

God longs to comfort aching hearts. However, unlike a mom who might comfort her child with animal crackers, the Lord doesn’t lure our sweet tooth to produce a smile. He satisfies our deepest cravings with Himself.

Comfort means “to ease someone’s pain,” but it doesn’t ensure the Lord will remove the problem that pains us. Instead, God comforts us with His strength. For the word “comfort” is derived from “fortis” which means strong.

“His strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

  • Strength to endure pain and sorrow.
  • Strength to walk on feeble feet down the path that leads to abundant life.
  • Strength to abstain from creature comforts that might sabotage our efforts to eat healthy.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25–26).

Now, isn’t that a comforting thought?

Photo: http://www.jennywredephotography.com

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6 Responses to Craving Comfort?

  1. Lara August 5, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

    Wonderful post, Karen! Thank you so much. You write very well, and got the point across! God wants us to come to Him for comfort. We know that and it’s easier said than done. For me, coming to Him for comfort requires constant, vigilant watching over my mind and catching the wayward thoughts immediately, before they get a chance to grow. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

    Your Sister in Christ,
    Lara

    • Karen Foster August 6, 2016 at 9:11 am #

      Lara, thank you for sharing. You’re so right…running to God for comfort is “easier said than done.” We have the master blueprint–God’s Word–but I’m prone to take the easier route and go for the tangible comfort. Less work and instant gratification. But having our own way doesn’t satisfy in the long run. Thankfully, we have a heavenly high priest who knows our earthly struggles and says, “Come, and I will give you rest.” Rest and comfort for the taking…if we come.

  2. Becky August 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

    Wonderful post, just what I needed. Thank you

    • Karen Foster August 6, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

      God’s timing is always perfect. Thanks for your positive feedback, Becky!

  3. Liz November 20, 2016 at 8:24 am #

    This is so very encouraging! I have been toying with the idea of trying Thin Within for quite some time… Years! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Karen Foster November 20, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

      Liz, I knew about Thin Within for years too! I don’t know why I waited so long. I love having the community of online class members who share their struggles and victories. And it has changed my perspective on eating so that I control my food rather than allowing it to control me. Hope you’ll join soon!

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