Comfort and consolation are vital aspects of the Christian life. How we live through our losses, disappointments and heartache can make a huge difference in our lives. Knowing the ways that we find comfort, and intentionally building those strategies can help us through the depths. In this Lenten season, we remember that the route to Easter joy runs us directly into the cross.
I recently realized that I had not reflected on how I receive comfort and consolation. It came to me when I realized I was unknowingly using a coping strategy — watching reruns on TV. (I know, you were expecting something religious; that’s coming, too!) During the pandemic, I have re-watched many episodes on some of my favorite shows: All in the Family, Cheers, Seinfeld, The Office, The Munsters, The Beverly Hillbillies, Dennis the Menace. It was comforting to watch a show where I knew everyone’s problems and conflicts would be solved in 30 minutes.
Reading the Bible is another way we can find comfort and consolation. The Gospels are often a source of comfort for me. The Psalms are also a great place to seek solace; every human emotion is expressed and explored in the Psalms. The Psalmists brought every feeling to God, and so can you. Obviously, that’s the beginning of where you can seek comfort in the Bible.
Prayer is another source of comfort that we need to develop. It has taken me years to deepen my prayer life, and I’m not finished yet. Something that I’ve discovered about myself is that prayer is most constructive when I’m active. Sitting still is a wonderful way for some people to pray, but that has never worked for me. Pray while you’re vacuuming. Keep your fingers busy braiding, knitting or fiddling with your keys. Pray while you drive. Pray while you wait for your coffee to brew. Pray as you go for a walk. As 1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us, “pray without ceasing.”
Christ’s resurrection assures us that God has power over everything that can trouble us, including sin and death. For Jesus to show us that, he had to take on the worst humanity had to dish out. We can feel overwhelmed, but in the end, Jesus’ victory is our victory. Be steadfast in what brings you comfort and consolation, and seek your own Easter surprises.