Our Comfort in a Desolate Place

Comfort in a Desolate Place

Our Comfort in a Desolate Place

40 Gifts of  Lent | Gift 3
Reflections on Matthew 13 – 18

Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away…” But Jesus said, “They need not go away…” Matthew 14: 15-16

It would not be long before the disciples and the followers of Jesus would experience a very tragic and frightening desolate place that they have never experienced before. They don’t understand what is to come. They only know what they see and feel right then, at that time and place. They become agitated, restless, and worried…even with Jesus standing beside them.

Often we feel that there is no hope in the worst of times, that there is no one that will listen or understands the pangs of fear and anxiety that hurls when the evening approaches. Do not fear when the darkness shuts out the light and you are alone with your thoughts, do not turn away from Jesus to search for comfort elsewhere. He is with you.

If you want to believe but can’t, stop looking inside; go to Jesus and say, “Help me believe.” You will be comforted. You will be satisfied to overflowing.

Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.  Matthew 14:19 – 20. 

“The provision Christ makes for those who are his is not bare and scanty, but rich and plentiful; an overflowing fullness.” (Matthew Henry)

We should not be surprised when God goes above and beyond all that we would ask or dream.

Why I write about 40 Gifts of Lent 

It’s so much fun to be on the receiving end of good gifts! I am anticipating the arrival of Easter and celebrating the most amazingly good gift I’ve ever received. I want to focus my heart on the fulfilled expectation of Christ’s first coming and the glorious expectation of His second coming. I want to focus on the freedom I have in Christ to overcome strongholds, yet also to gain strength, hope, and peace as I lean into the trials…continue reading here.


To Find Comfort in the Creative

Watercolor by Donna

Watercolor by Donna

I am a Creative. I find comfort in the creative. I enjoy a variety of things, but primarily I like to write and paint. If I’m in a good mood, being creative brings on the joy even more so. If I have the blues, being creative brings lightness which lifts the heaviness I am feeling. Like Julie Cameron author of “The Artists Way” says, “It is difficult to be depressed and in action at the same time.”

However, I don’t always find comfort in the creative. First, I struggle to write an article or a blog post. Just writing the first paragraph takes a lot of effort and because I’m a perfectionist, I’m usually never satisfied with the end result. Secondly, to pick up a pencil to sketch a design or a paint brush to splash on color can be an effort as well because it will require that this ADD temperament of mine to focus on finishing the project.  And then it’s the mess of the paint supplies, or the pile of books (research material) taking over the dinning room table. My husband has grown to appreciate my messiness and gives me encouragement and comfort to explore being creative.

I have a friend that happens to be a watercolor artist. She inspired me to unleash the “wanna-be-artist” hiding inside. She encouraged me to relax and to find comfort in the creative. She is the most gracious friend that sees beauty in everything that I attempt to paint. She encourages me not to hide my work, but to keep it in view and then paint another one. Always paint one more. Always write one more article.

I’ve asked myself what manic or compulsive hours will I give up in trade for the equivalent time to write, or paint? Time is not free—that’s why it’s so precious and worth fighting for. (Ann Lamott said that. She is the author of “Bird by Bird” as well as many other books.) As a gift to myself, I am saying,”no” to some things so that I may say,”yes” for time to find comfort in the creative.

I once wrote a short post about the photo of my granddaughter sniffing a tulip. She loves to discover all that is creative. Her comfort with exploring a beautiful piece of creation made me wonder what a tulip smells like. It made me notice the tulips.

Finding comfort in the creative is noticing those small details–to be in the world–present and in awe. To thank God, the author of creativity, the designer of all creation for splashing beautiful colors on a blank canvas, called my soul. For writing His words of truth and hope to guide this perfectionist to realize that real comfort in the creative can only be found by knowing the Creator.

Linking up with everyone for Five Minute Friday, where a remarkably encouraging community gathers to write for five minutes. This week’s prompt is: COMFORT
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