Where do you go when you want comfort? For some, comfort is close by all of the time. Our new little granddaughter Allison is a blessing in many ways. One of those ways is the way she is growing and changing. Right now one of the things she is working on is her coordination. Yes, I know she is only a couple of months old, but she is making advances. She holds up her head and turns it quickly towards noises, she can stare at things she finds of interest and she is learning how to reach for and sometimes actually touch things.

One of the big things she has done recently is to find her thumb. She has worked and worked to learn how to maneuver her hand close to her face. She finally has managed to find her thumb and comfort herself by sucking on it. As I watch her I see that it is still not easy for her, she has to work at getting that hand in the right position, but she sticks with it and eventually makes the connection with the comforter.

That's cute, that's sweet, but what does that have to do with you and me? Well, like all babies, Allison sometimes gets fussy. She may not even know what she wants herself, but she has found a comforter only arms reach away.

Aren't there times when that kind of describes you? Sometimes, something's just not right, you may not even know what the problem is, you are just unsettled, maybe worried, and you wish desperately for a comforter. It's not new. It's not just our society or time. It's been around since time began. God, however, promises to comfort us as well as to send us comfort. Notice some scriptures that deal with this subject.

King David wrote one of the most often quoted verses: Notice again what he says:

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me (Psalm 23:4 KJV).

A shepherd's staff is generally used to guide and protect the sheep, but some of the older Jewish writers in reference to this passage spoke of the "[R]od of the Word of God and the Staff of his promises." All in all, David speaks of the protection and promise of God to those who follow him. In this particular context, it brings us comfort even when we go through "[T]he valley of the shadow of death."

David also wrote of the promises of God which bring us comfort:

You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again (Psalm 71:21).
Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles (Psalm 119:50).

Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant (Psalm 119:76).
My eyes are straining to see your promises come true. When will you comfort me? (Psalm 119:82)

Each of us is searching for comfort of some kind!
Each of us is searching for comfort of some kind, perhaps like David, "Straining to see the promises come true." What we need to understand is that there is an ultimate comfort. Not just the comfort of the flesh, the freedom from worry about physical things, about our life, about our jobs, about our families. There is an ultimate freedom that gives comfort to us that far surpasses anything we will find on earth. The Apostle Paul wrote to encourage people he loved with these words:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the PEACE OF GOD, WHICH SURPASSES all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV) (Emphasis added).

To a group of new Christians, Paul talks about the judgment day and the resurrection resulting in eternal life. He ends the thought by saying, "So comfort and encourage each other with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NLT).

We need to believe the promises of God and let the "[R]od of the Word of God and the Staff of his promises" bring comfort to our heart. This comfort is not an arms length away; it is only an open Bible, a thought, and a prayer away.