It’s hazy outside like the ozone just hacked up a giant cotton ball and left the sun to swim in it.
Everyone I know feels this way right now.
We are giant hairballs in the throat of life.
We’re all caught up in battles that God has asked us to fight – battles of faith for one another and for ourselves and we’ve all run out of gas.
Are we quitting?
Are we trudging our way forward on fumes?
You could say that.
It is because of this fume-y feeling that I found my grocery cart swerving towards the cosmetics aisle the other day. . . towards a really shiny, gold tube of mascara that my soul was screaming that I needed to have to feel pretty and secure and good.
I stood in the aisle for a solid 10 minutes while I listed all the reasons that I needed that tube of mascara.
The obvious was that I really like shiny things and shiny things like me (Target knows this and when it hears that I’m coming it puts all of it’s shiny stuff on those end caps and impulse buy spots).
I also needed that mascara because I was tired and worn and that mascara was going to make my eyelashes like a mile long – who wouldn’t feel good about that. But I didn’t really have the money to buy it and I knew that what I needed right then was a Comforter and the Holy Spirit was not going to care if I had mile long eyelashes. But there I was salivating in the make-up aisle like Gollum in Lord of the Rings, swaying back and forth, clutching the shiny mascara thinking things like “Mine” and “My Precious”.
In a brief flash of sanity I was able to put my precious, shiny mascara back on the shelf and push my cart towards the check-out lines. I don’t need mascara, well actually I do because I am almost out – but at that moment it was not about the mascara. I was looking for something to make me feel a little less tired. A little less worn. A little less like my life had been poured out.
Why is it that God is the last place we turn when we need comfort. Jesus even said he would send us the Comforter, but we dismiss the title like it’s irrelevant.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—
Sign me up for some of that.
I run to so many things for comfort. And not even conscientiously.
When I’m tired and feeling like I don’t have the energy to keep up with the 3 energizer bunnies that I call my kids, I find myself asking my t.v. to help keep them entertained or worse asking it to recharge me with some funny sitcom.
When I’m feeling lonely or misunderstood, I’ll check in with Facebook to see if anybody “likes” me.
We all do it.
Whether our vices be food, pop (Coke, if you’re from the south), t.v., technology, porn, alcohol, shopping, drugs, other people’s approval, mascara, etc, etc, etc – we all do it. Different scenarios but the same problem.
We overdose on things that make us feel good in a desperate attempt for something or someone to fill those areas in us that have been sucked dry by this thing we call life. Please don’t misunderstand me, most of the things I listed above are not bad in and of themselves, it’s when it becomes a “fix” that something is not quite right. It comes down to this:
We can’t escape our need for comfort and understanding.
We are not supposed to.
God knows he created us with that need.
What would it look like if we ran to the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, when we are feeling tired and worn and overwhelmed? God says he is a very present help in a time of need. But we wonder how our problems could matter to him. After all he has things like poverty and illness and hatred to deal with.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time,casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you.
1 Peter 5:6-7
He cares about you.
He cares about your crappy day.
He cares that as I write this, I have friends and family that are facing each day bleary eyed just praying to make it through another hospitalization, another job crisis, another long day of trusting that he is going to come through.
He cares about those very huge things. He cares about the small things too.
He cares that I have days when I think it’s unfair that the 3 amazing kids he gave me have more energy than I do. Days like today when the littlest one exploded out of her diaper and all over her outfit and blanket and who knows what else while the middle one (sick with the flu) cried and screamed to be picked up while I cleaned the mess. All this happened while the oldest one jumped on my bed performing acrobatics in an effort to get my attention.
I live in a circus and that was just the opening act.
And the thing is, he cares.
He cares enough to tell me to step away from the shiny things in life so that I will come and get the comfort that I really need from him.