I know those words sound like they shouldn’t be put together. One of them is positive, connoting good feelings and emotions; the other harsh, abrupt and merciless.
But to be honest, there’s no better way to describe it. And I don’t think I’ve ever understood it as well as I do now.
Comfort kills. It does, if you let it.
Owning a car isn’t a given in the majority of the world, it’s a comfort. Yet it kills our need to walk somewhere instead of getting in the car and driving there, even if our destination is close. Not to mention the fumes that fill the air and kill clean oxygen.
TV’s and computers kill time, calculators kill mental math skills, air conditioners kill balanced humidity levels, and dishwashers, washing machines and pressure cookers kill knowledge of doing it any other way.
Electronic books kill the need for libraries and virtual communication kills the need for physical relationships.
And the list goes on… but those things don’t worry me. They’re inevitable in our day and age, and quite a blessing to those who have them.
What worries me is what I’ve noticed inside of me. The cravings, desires and feelings I feel. The wants and the needs that change once my surroundings change.
Once I’m away from the hurt and the pain on the faces of passerby, the dust and the dirt and the flies sitting on meat. Away from the sounds of children playing on broken swings, dogs barking and angry men fighting. Away from feeling the joy that comes from biting into my favorite cookies after a year of not having them. Away from the heat that drains me of energy yet forces me to keep moving forward. Away from honking cars that startle me. Away from having to watch my use of Christian vocabulary in public and from having to worry about the pickpocket standing next to me on the ever-crowded bus as I travel home.
Away from the utter dependency and absolute reliance on my Father.
When the comfort creeps in, and I see smiling faces and overstocked shelves, bursting closets and fancy shoes. Packaged meat and scrubbed-clean vegetables, busy restaurants and full stomachs. Big, fancy churches lining beautiful streets and parking lots boasting expensive vehicles.
And I don’t even realize how it’s all slowly killing me. Killing my urgent need to pray. Killing my sense of satisfaction in Him and substituting it for temporary things. Killing my desires to wake up early and come bowing in worship, come to the One who gives peace when it’s absent and rest when it’s rare. The One who fills the void and wipes the tears that fall with others who suffer pain.
And I know that something’s wrong. I’m the one letting the comfort kill.
It doesn’t matter where you live, in luxury or in poverty.
Because the visible comfort only masks the raw pain that unites us humans. It creates a sense of security, of happiness and bliss. It paints a picture of contentment and satisfaction that disguises reality. But on the inside, we will always be empty until we come to be filled.
What really matters is how much you allow the earthly comfort to influence your eternal soul.
Because ultimately, it’s not about comfort.
It’s about the Comforter.
And every comfort on this Earth is meaningless in comparison to what He gives.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.