Comfort Food and the Happy God

Elle, my trusty steed that glides up hill and down.

Elle, my trusty steed that glides up hill and down.

“This is bad,” my husband was troubled by his jaw and by the end of the week he could not eat. Visions of an impending life of smoothies and soup discouraged him. A storm was rolling in fast. I hopped on Elle, my trusty electric bike that glides uphill and down, and raced to the food store.  Seven dollars later and a hasty trip back with thunder and lightning nipping at my wheels, I set to work on some Potato Pancakes. It was time for some comfort food.

Potato pancakes may not be high on the list of the nutritarian diet but they do squeak by, at least on my accounting. Take a large potato, peel it, chop it into squares, and then square each piece again until it is about the size of two thumbs. No need to chop them too small. Put them in a pot of boiling water until the pieces are soft. Drain and mash the potato squares until smooth and creamy with the help of a  little pat or two of butter and 1/8th cup of cream (okay, broth and a nut butter since butter and cream are not part of the nutritarian diet, but hubby needed a little pampering). Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool and then form into patties. These are called pancakes, but the size of the patty is more like the size and shape of a hamburger.  Fry onions, garlic, and mushrooms  in a pan with just a bit of canola oil. Add the potato pancakes and cook until golden brown.

Often times we think our God is a little grumpy, kind of like we are when troubled by something that just won’t leave us alone. We think we need to comfort Him with some great act of kindness or service that will appease the grumpy god. Actually, our God is a happy god. His son has redeemed his children back to him. God longs for us to be with Him eternally. When we come to Him in prayer, He does not think, “Is she really going to go over all this again: boring!,” No, instead He comforts us every time. His joy over us fills the heavens. His love for us is so great that there is nothing that can separate us from Him. He has an open-door-policy and when we walk into His office, He says, “Welcome into my joy.”

Jesus Christ is God’s great comfort food. Jesus, the sacrificial lamb, the Passover lamb, the bread of life, the water for all who are thirsty, stands beside His father and forever intervenes on our behalf. Our health issues and moments of despair are like fiery darts that burn our conscious and make us think God does not care, but God has revealed to us through the person of Jesus Christ how much He does love us, and the life of Christ reminds us that this life is troublesome. It is through our love of Christ that we gain compassion for each other and that we try to comfort those who suffer.

God is not bored by our constant and repetitive prayers for others and ourselves, or our whining and groaning over health issues or other misfortunes. Though we have gratitude for any blessings in this life, we are not glorified by them, not by money, power, or fitness. Instead, these can become distractions to seeking God’s glory that is in Jesus Christ who is mighty to save. He can bring joy in the midst of suffering that is beyond our understanding. His power is revealed in our weakness. This life is like birthing pains. We have many troubles but they our only temporary. We have many setbacks, but they will be overcome. Does anyone who is born brag about how easily he came into this world? No, that pain was necessary only for birth and is forgotten in the joy of life. Does anyone who is born not have trouble? No, but in the next life the pains of this world will be forgotten in the joy that God has chosen us to be His very own children for all eternity.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelations 21:4