Our One True Comfort - Encouragement for Today - April 2, 2019

Kaitlin Wernet

April 2, 2019

Our One True Comfort

“Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” Psalm 139:12 (ESV)

Of all the things that have let me down in this life, my Crock-Pot is not yet one of them. And for someone who has been known to call her mother — who lives states away — to ask, “Why is my chicken still pink in the middle?” … this is nothing short of a miracle.

The slow cooker magic is found in certainty. I can trust in the practice of filling it with shredded chicken, white beans, cumin, salsa and chicken stock before I go to work, and I’ll come home to a fully cooked, ready-whenever-I-am pot of white chicken chili.

I wonder if this is another reason why people show up in many cultures with food — containers of casseroles, soups, and other cozy foods when we’re in pain. Maybe it’s a comfort for both the cook and the recipient — a reminder that when nothing is the same, and you don’t have the right words, you can still trust the same five ingredients to fill the emptiness.

When my younger brother passed away unexpectedly, our home was filled with flowers, cards, casseroles and soups. Our people were showing up for us in our grief, but the question I found myself too afraid to ask was: When the people stop visiting, and the fridge becomes empty, where can I find true comfort?

A few years later, at a point when I believed grief had become my closest companion, my best friend faced her own terrible loss, and her pain felt like a stranger I couldn’t figure out. I stumbled over my words, knowing that no matter what I said, it wouldn’t change the void she felt. How could I find the words that would bring her peace and avoid those that would bring her more pain?

When Jesus’ disciples gathered around the table during the Last Supper, they didn’t know the amount of grief they would soon be facing the very next day. But after He shared the news that He would be leaving, Jesus also shared a practice His followers would repeat for centuries to come:

“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me’” (Luke 22:19, ESV).

In the context of this passage — an intimate gathering of loved ones — it also shows us something significant at the core of our humanity: Our lives hinge on remembering the goodness of God.

It also leaves space for the gaps we long to be filled with comfort. Jesus knew we wouldn’t know the right words to say when our friends are hurting, and it’s not surprising to Him that we forget where to look when our circumstances are falling apart.

Whether you’re looking into the hopelessness of a tomb, or filling your days with the ingredients of an unfulfilled dream, be mindful of the importance of darkness. A slow cooker can be trusted to do its best work in the dark when we’re not there, but isn't the same true about our God?

After all, the resurrection needed a tomb.

And isn’t it interesting how the same Jesus who could calm the seas and forgive our sins gave us the simplest instructions for comfort: Remember.

When things feel shattered beyond repair, we remember the significance of His body broken for us.

When we lack the right words to say to our hurting loved ones, we remember the gift of God’s promises written to us.

When darkness surrounds us, we take heart, knowing it is not dark to Him. We have hope that, “Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you” (Psalm 139:12).

And as we break bread together alongside our worn-out hopes, we give thanks that He is our One True Comfort.

Lord, thank You for being my One True Comfort when nothing else can bring me relief. When darkness surrounds me and fear controls me, help me trust in Your promises and remember Your goodness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ephesians 5:8, “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light.” (NASB)

Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.” (NASB)

The Book of Comforts was created out of the knowledge that God is our One True Comfort. Written and designed by four friends — Caleb Faires, Rebecca Faires, Kaitlin Wernet, and Cymone Wilder — it aims to put beauty back in the story of suffering and let those in pain know they’re not alone. With thoughtful devotions and Scripture artwork, this book will serve as a welcome resource in the homes and hands of those who need to remember God’s goodness in hard times. Pick up a copy today.

Connect with Kaitlin on her Instagram, or read more of her work at KaitlinWernet.com.

Enter to WIN a copy of The Book of Comforts by Kaitlin Wernet, Caleb Faires, Rebecca Faires, and Cymone Wilder. In celebration of these books, Zondervan is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one by Monday, April 8.}

In what situations can you call on God to be your One True Comfort today?

© 2019 by Kaitlin Wernet. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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Originally published Tuesday, 02 April 2019.