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Autumn Comfort

There’s a chill in the air where I live in Central New York State. The beauty of fall surrounds us as the foliage treats us to a kaleidoscope of color. Neighborhood lawns and porches are dotted with pumpkins and colorful mums. Ovens are filled with apple pies and pots of chili simmer on stovetops. As the first hard freeze of the season hit last night minds turn to comfort – comfort foods, cozy blankets and a cup of something warm. I joke that it’s time to hibernate as my thoughts change from outside activities to those inside.

Many people love this time of year as temperatures drop and sweatshirts come out of the closet. But even they will cozy up to a fire and enjoy the comfort of a warm bowl of soup or chili.

What happens when the comfort of earth is not enough for us? What happens when the sadness or chill in our hearts and spirits can’t be warmed by a blanket? Are you experiencing a time in your life that is overwhelming you and the things and people can’t provide enough comfort?

Perhaps it’s not you but someone close to you who needs comfort. You’ve tried everything but you can’t help.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ,so also our comfort abounds through Christ.                                                             2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Although we can’t see Him, God is all around us. Some say we can’t feel Him either, but if you ask He will truly hold you close, comforting your spirit in a way nothing on earth can.

Do you know this God of comfort? Even if you don’t need Him today I believe there will be a time when you will. If you have questions about getting to know Him please ask.

What are your favorite comforts of Autumn? Apple cider, a cozy fire? I’d love to hear about them. Maybe you have a favorite others have never tried or heard of. I’ve listed one of my favorites below. It’s my grandma’s apple squares. Maybe I’ll make some today.

Posted in Christian, Comfort, good graces, own two feet, Peace, physical affection, Women

Too Old To Hold?

From the moment we were born most of us spent a great deal of time in someone’s arms. Whether it was our mom, dad, or another who cared for us, we were held, hugged and helped most of our waking hours. We depended on another not only to meet our physical needs, but our emotional needs and wants as well.

As we grew and gained independence our attachment to others waned and we began to show and accept less physical affection. We may have even pushed away from those who wanted to embrace us, declaring ourselves “too old” for the mushy stuff. We wanted to stand on our own two feet, not needing someone else to hold us up.

When we were introduced to God many of us were encouraged to focus on the rules He expects us to follow and the life He wants us to lead. We are told that God loves us, but often that love seems far away and conditional. We sing the song “Jesus Loves The Little Children” and have that picture of the children gathered around Jesus, smiling and being held by Him. It’s a beautiful picture, but just as our independence may cause us to push away the affection of humans, we also may find ourselves pushing away the affection of God. We struggle and strive to be “good enough”, fearing perfection is the only way to stay in God’s good graces.  

But does it ever get lonely? Do you ever wish you could go back and climb into someone’s lap to be held and told everything is going to be okay?

I have good news for you! God is waiting to do just that.

While God does lay out rules for us and desires us to live without sin, He looks at our hearts along with our actions. If Jesus Christ is our Savior and we live our lives with the desire to please Him and to help others come to know Him as well, His love becomes that of a Father, not a judge. God isn’t waiting to punish us each time we do wrong. He will correct us as a Father corrects His children, but He also longs to love on us, not cast us aside each time we do wrong.

If you are a parent, think of your love for your children. If you don’t have children of your own, think of how you feel toward your nieces, nephews or other children to whom you are close. Sometimes you are required to discipline them. Part of your responsibility is to teach them right from wrong and help them to become wonderful human beings. But after you discipline them, what do you do next? Do you send them away until they become perfect or do you take them into your arms to reinforce how much you love them even though sometimes they fail? You most likely treasure the time you can hug them, hold them and reassure them of your love, no matter how old your children get. 

Now remember that we were made in God’s image. That’s right, God made us like Him! The affection we feel for others is indicative of His love for us.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”                                  1 John 3:1

I want to put a challenge out to each of you. When you feel alone, and aren’t sure of your place in the world, find a quiet spot where you can spend some time with God. Begin talking to Him and revealing your heart as if you were a child again. Push aside the preconceived notions in your head of how you are supposed to act and what you are supposed to say when you’re talking with God and just tell Him how you feel. Imagine that you are little again, running to your dad or mom, falling into their arms and pouring out your story. Visualize yourself falling into God’s arms and climbing into His lap.

Then just rest there and feel His comfort, peace and love.

He’s waiting for you to rest in the peace only He can give.

In your Father’s eyes you are never too old to hold.

 

Wishing you blessings and peace today.

Paula