Where Do I Find Comfort?
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. Genesis 2:2
I’d been dabbling in opioids for several years before my addiction really took off one winter. Yes I’d abused opioids on and off, but at that time I hadn’t yet engaged in any high-risk activities to get my pills. Then, I volunteered to work double my normal number of shifts for one month. In retrospect it was stupid, but I can’t blame the job. I’d already established that I found rest and relaxation in opioids. So, a couple of weeks into that four-week stretch, when my brain was fried, where did I turn? It was at that time that I began using my own license to get pills. From there, my addiction exploded and it was only a few months later that I entered my first attempt at outpatient treatment.
We all have somewhere we turn to find rest, comfort, and peace. The problem is that many of us have learned to find relaxation in unhealthy places. It’s just so much easier to find respite in immediate gratification– even when we know that thing isn’t good for us. When stressed, we turn to a drink because it brings a temporary peace. When angry, lonely, or tired, we turn to eating, smoking, pornography, gambling, social media, or even Candy Crush. Whatever our thing is, it brings immediate relief, which breeds an addictive behavior. Soon, we can’t find comfort without that thing. The problem is the relief doesn’t last and it doesn’t solve any of our problems. Additionally, our self-gratifying behaviors often come with some painful price to pay later. Comfort eating means obesity. Pornography damages our marriage and spiritual health. Finding peace in alcohol is like chasing the wind.
Today’s passage provides some insight into divine rest, relaxation, and peace. In the narrative, God finished creating the universe and then took a day of rest. Was God tired? Probably not. He was however, establishing a pattern for us to emulate. When we work, we expend energy, and we must recharge. So, God established the weekend, a time to stop toiling and rest. How did God rest? He spent his day with the Us (the trinity) described in Genesis 1:26.
This is where we too, must learn to find our ultimate comfort. The problem is that finding peace the right way is hard work. When we’re lonely, it takes more effort to build a healthy marriage relationship, so we settle for pornography. When we’re anxious, it’s a lot of work to do counseling or to exercise, so we drink. The easy, quick route is rarely the healthy one though. If we desire authentic rest, then daily, we must take time to find our comfort and peace in our relationship with God, the author of rest and relaxation.