Comfort Food: That big bowl of salty goodness that marks the end of a long day, or that decadent, gooey, caramel concoction that seems to soak up tears as it melts in the mouth. My daughter, Natalie, recently went through something really big and painful. To protect her privacy, I won’t share more details than that—but suffice it to say that it has nothing to do with a boy, and it’s something I’d never want anyone to face.
The day after this trauma occurred, she wandered around the house kind of aimlessly. She didn’t want to sleep, didn’t want to read, didn’t want to watch TV. She had no idea what to do to calm her spirit. We prayed and we talked until there were no words left to say, then she asked me to make my homemade chicken soup. She said, “When nothing else seems to help, I know that will make me feel better.”
I rolled out the dough for the noodles, seasoned it just right, added the chicken and chunks of carrots and celery—perfection. Soon, Natalie wandered into the kitchen and raised the lid to take a big whiff from the pot. She lifted her face and let the steamy aroma envelop her. Then she sipped a taste from a spoon and slumped against the counter in mock ecstasy. “Well. This will forever be my ultimate comfort food. I will never be able to smell chicken soup without thinking about what happened. But on the plus side, I’ll always want your homemade soup whenever I need comfort.”
Food is only one source of counterfeit comfort. Some people turn to drugs, alcohol, shopping, sleeping, and anything else that distracts the mind from troubles and gives the body a sense of pleasure or escape for even a brief moment. You'll notice that none of the things on that list offer nourishment for the spirit.
Do you nourish yourself with God’s word?
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4 (NKJV)
Scriptures are comfort food for the soul. God means for us to soak up the truth and guidance from His word like Natalie soaked up the smell and taste of that chicken soup. Worldly pleasures bring a temporary comfort, but the problem still remains when the pleasure or comfort fades. However, the words of God are soothing and provide permanent hope and peace. When you consume God’s word, you'll be changed ,and your troubles will dim in the bright light of Christ.
As a mom, you can trust that there will be challenges, hardships, and pain on a regular basis. Turning to food or another source for comfort will always leave you longing for more. But the nourishment you'll find in the Word will heal you from the inside out.
My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22 (NLT)
Nicole O'Dell, Choose NOW Ministries
***Photo courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net, by Stuart Miles