Comfort – 5 Minute Friday

5-minute-friday-1 Comfort.

The word floods my mind with a collage of images.

Images and voices.

Voices that swoon and croon and call and plead and promise… and guilt.

My heart quiets and a soft smile settles with images of great reading rooms with large cozy chairs, overlooking the ocean. The sea breeze caresses my face, wisps of hair dance in the ocean’s song, and I am lost in a book, only drawn back to reality by the call of a seagull or the crash of a wave. A contented sigh.


I can doze in the warmth of the sun’s gentle rays and awake to cool in the ever-reaching waves. Laughter and joy and peace wrap around and I’m soon back in the arms of the chair, book in hands, world faded into another.

This is my “happy place.”

But then the guilt… all of the “comfort” foods that promise happiness in the moment, heartache (and bellyache) in the next. Guilt over the millions around the world living (if we can call it that) with little to no food, water… dying of things I take for granted. Guilt over the complaints I give a cold-sore when people say less about their own starvation, decaying body parts, children dying of preventable and treatable diseases. Guilt that my life as a believer in Christ should not be filled with comfort, but of perseverance, tribulation, endless hard work and long-suffering, sacrifice… exhaustion for the Cause. His Cause. Guilt that too much pleasure shouldn’t be for me and how can I even dream such things?

Then a gentle voice speaks:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29

When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.

Psalm 94:19

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17


And truth, though my thoughts are so small in comparison, overwhelm my guilt and fears.

And the comfort comes.

Not through sea breezes or oversized reading chairs or worlds created by authors…

but by that voice.

The voice of Truth that overwhelms all shadows of guilt and fear.

That speaks peace and comfort into everything I can’t understand.

Quiet heart.

Soft smiles.

Contented sigh.

Five Minute Friday – Dive

5-minute-friday-1 It’s Friday!

I missed the last Five Minute Friday… the day, the week, the whole month of December… flew by. And here I am, almost missing it again.

But not.

I watch so many people… myself sometimes too… standing on the edge of everything beautiful and good and true. Seeing that, within reach, lie our hopes, our dreams… thrills that usher life into our hearts and souls.

Yet our feet stay rooted.

Because those dreams and hopes are within reach… but first a step is needed. One small step. And it happens to lead off of a cliff of all things familiar, known, and comfortable. This step becomes a dive into a sea of all that we’ve longed for.

Fear nails us to the stoney edge. The wind beats at our faces, tells us that to let go and dive in will lead to ultimate ruin, disappointment, failure. Because who are we to have what we hope for?

Inadequate. Insufficient. Insecure.

What would happen if we could actually live the life we want? Ruin? Sabotage? The wind is strong and convincing.

If we let it be. If we listen to its voice and agree.

But it’s a lie.

We must dive in! Who are we not to give it a try? Failure is no end… only an ushered step onto a better path… a guard rail that keeps us going the right direction. Closed doors are not rejection… no, they are direction. Our fears deceive us into thinking that the cliffy edge is a better place to stay… gazing upon our possibilities with hopelessness.

But not me, not this year. I want to dive in. I want to flail and fling and fail… so that I can get closer to succeeding. I want the doors to close like the formation of a grand arrow pointing me to my destiny… the purposes and plans for which God has already determined for me. How easily I would be distracted and lost if there weren’t bowling “bumper guards” of life to keep me from going down the gutter. Missing the pins altogether.

2013 will be a year of diving. Diving into a large city of other writers, strangers yet, to see how I can be stretched, grown, and mentored in my craft. Diving into teaching a Creative Writing course to missionary high schoolers… when I’ve NEVER been a teacher. Diving into new languages, new cultures, new experiences… all of which are terrifying and thrilling… knowing that there are so many opportunities for failure… for direction. For purpose.

Without diving in to the scary, uncontrollable possibilities of life… there is no purpose greater than the small, feeble ones we can manage on our own.

A fun video by Steven Curtis Chapman… Diving In 🙂