Yea, Though I Walk in DIScomfort©

By Debbie Guinn

“May your unfailing love be my comfort…” Psalm 119:76a (NIV) Lately, I have found myself in some “not so comfortable” situations in my life. In fact, I am pushing to finish this article on time because I know God has prompted me to write on this topic and just the thought of writing about it, makes me squirm. I do not like those times of DIScomfort in my life. I would so much rather life be filled with carefree days of pleasure and bliss. Yet, I also know that it is in those periods of DIScomfort that God does His greatest work in my life. I continue to remind myself that God loves me too much to allow anything to happen to me that is not ultimately for my good and His glory (see Freedom from Fear) and God has not let me down. At the same time, He has taught me some new truths about how I handle—or do not handle, should I say—these times of DIScomfort in my life. Jesus says in Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” (NIV) How often I find myself wishing I had no reason to mourn. Then, it hit me one day that if I never mourned, I would never experience God’s comfort. In 2 Corinthians 1:3, Paul describes God as the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. He does not get the opportunity to reveal that characteristic to me if I do not allow myself to experience DIScomfort. In other words, if I am always asking Him to remove the DIScomforts in my life—or I find ways to numb or escape them—I miss out on experiencing God’s tender compassion and unfathomable comfort in my life. I grew up being extremely afraid of anything that made me feel uncomfortable… mainly because I was afraid to feel. I developed a very unhealthy habit— addiction really—called self-abuse, as my way of dealing with the DIScomforts in my life. Whenever I found myself in a situation in which I felt any type of DIScomfort whatsoever, I found a way to inflict physical pain upon myself, in order to alleviate or distract from the DIScomfort that I was experiencing. You

see, I could handle the physical pain far easier than the emotional pain. God has healed and delivered me from that addiction and way of escaping the DIScomforts in life. However, it is still easy for me to use things that bring me joy —such as spending time with friends or children—instead of allowing myself to experience the DIScomfort of a painful or distressful situation. I can’t help but wonder how many blessings from God I missed out on, by turning to the self-abuse—or having fun with friends or children—rather than enduring the DIScomfort and allowing God to be my comfort. I also wonder how dreadfully different things might be today, if I had not learned to let God be my comfort, when I did. What about stories in the Bible where we see this exemplified? I wonder how different the outcome might be in some of them as well. Take the story of Lazarus’ death, for example (John 11:1-44). It is obvious that Mary and Martha were mourning; they were definitely experiencing DIScomfort. When they heard that Jesus had come, they went to Him for comfort (verses 2033). In fact, in verse 32, it says that Mary left those who had been comforting her to go to Jesus. I shudder to think how different that event might have ended if Mary and Martha had chosen to avoid mourning—find a way to mask or cover up their feelings—or had refused to turn to Jesus for their comfort. Would He have still raised Lazarus from the dead…or would He have simply left and gone somewhere quiet to mourn alone? I am glad we did not have to find out the answer to that question. They experienced DIScomfort and they did turn to Jesus for comfort. Because they did, we have a beautiful story of both Jesus’ comfort and God’s glory revealed in and through their trial. I cannot undo the way I handled—or did not handle—undesirable situations in my past. I can learn from them—and examples in the Bible—and go forward from here. God’s ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). I cannot begin to understand all that happens in my life. However, I do know that God’s Word is true and can be trusted. If He says He will comfort those who mourn, then I know He will comfort me when I mourn. Therefore, DIScomforts are simply opportunities for me to experience His comfort I see that this goes even further than just what God is allowed or prevented from doing in my own life…depending on if I am willing to suffer DIScomfort so that He can comfort me. After all, life is not all about me. In 1 Corinthians 2:3-7 Paul talks about how the suffering we go through is for others…for their comfort and salvation. In the New Living Translation it reads:

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure

the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us. When I allow any addiction (such as self-abuse) or form of distraction to keep me from fully engaging in and experiencing the DIScomforts in life, not only do I deprive myself of the comfort God wants to give me but I also deprive others of the comfort and salvation that God designed for me to share with them. It is one thing for me to deprive myself of God’s best for me. It is something else to deprive others of that…along with His salvation. How do you deal with the DIScomforts in your life? Do you try to numb or escape them with your own addictions… shopping, eating, television, self-abuse, alcohol, drugs, etc? Do you turn to others instead of God for comfort? Your Father God wants to be your source of comfort for every area of DIScomfort. Will you let Him? It means feeling the DIScomfort but oh, how good His comfort is! Are you ready to let God be your source of comfort so that you can share His comfort with others? Are you willing to let God be your source of comfort so that you can share His salvation through the comfort you receive? I pray that you can say, like David, “May your unfailing love be my comfort.” BioDebbie Guinn was born in Phoenix, AZ, graduated from Southwest Baptist University and has lived in Texas since 1994. She is the single mother of three daughters and lives in Ft. Worth Texas. Debbie resigned from her job as an Administrative Assistant in 2001 when the effects of Multiple Sclerosis began to take her sight. She is a speaker, an editor, as well as an author who regularly contributes to Heartbeat the Magazine and is currently working on two books. Debbie's transparency and firm grasp of God's Truth challenges women of every age and stage to trust in the life-giving power of God's Word for every aspect of their lives.

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