Ready for another truth bomb? We have been doing a series that offers more than clever life hacks and conveniences. Instead, these God Hacks are life changers, if we let them. God hacks, though, they cut deep. Think bone and marrow. Soul and spirit.
As we begin, imagine yourself standing there, a bag of chips in your hand, eating one after the after. Mindlessly. Maybe instead of chips, it’s spoonfuls of ice cream, a bag of weed, or sips of a drink. Maybe you’re swiping a screen, one image after the other, memes to like, clothes to buy, or bodies to lust over. The key word here is, mindlessly.
We have all done it. Frankly. It never scratches the real itch.
Today I want to poke that tender place called coping. Coping has a word origin meaning to cover, which lines right up with this verse from Hebrews.
For whatever God says to us is full of living power:
it is sharper than the sharpest dagger,
cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires with all their parts,
exposing us for what we really are.
Hebrews 4:12 TLB
We want to cover what we really are, so coping seems like a really good idea at the moment. But God’s powerful word exposes what we really are. For those of you who are shamed-based, that language may seem scary. Exposing us for what we really are. Note it says, what. Not who. God’s love for us, His name and His place for us is unconditional. Our Who we are is secure. The what, however, is a different matter.
There is a good and bad kind of exposing.
Today’s psycho-pop version of coping looks more like pretending, ignoring, denying, and fantasying about an alter-reality. How do I cover up what is really going on inside? But Holy Spirit uses scripture, and any other expression God wants to use, to tell us the truth and take off our masks. He invites us into the real world of His presence. What are we actually feeling, needing, lacking?
Which leads to today’s truth bomb.
God’s Comfort: all addiction is a desperate covering of deep hurt.
Wait. Comfort? Isn’t that the same thing as coping? No. Not at all.
The word origin of comfort is strong or strengthen, from the word Fortis. Think fortify. Fortress. Fort.
Comfort equals strong.
Coping equals cover.
The reality of coping and addiction is once is never enough. You have to keep covering. masking, hiding. The pain demands that you keep eating, masturbating, snorting, smoking, buying.
It is covering pain — not healing it.
Comfort is God’s strength for you, in you, through you to actually face the pain and heal the pain. Imagine not needing to go through all the coping antics because you no longer feel deep hurt.
What are you looking for?
In some of my hardest moments of coping, the Lord asks me this question. What are we looking for when we are grabbing — fill in the blank? When we are hurting, angry, tired, afraid, exhausted, abandoned, unloved, lonely, or neglected what do we really need?
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:12-16 NLT
I feel compelled to add this thought. How do you comfort?
You get still with God. You invite His presence into your mess instead of avoiding it. You let Him have all the words, emotions, and needs. Then you wait to hear His perspective, counsel, or affirmation. This is a miraculous moment when Heaven invades Earth. I want to release a testimony of the goodness of God literally invading my worst of moments like a victorious army.
He is with us. He sees every intimate detail of our lives.
Let us run to Holy Strength and be healed. The God of all comfort.