When I hear the word comfort, I think of two things. 1. Mashed potatoes (as in comfort food favorites that we usually find at the Thansgiving dinner table), and 2. Death. Mashed potato goodness is obvious, but let’s talk about death. When someone in my family has been terminally ill, I’ve always heard the phrase “let’s provide comfort during this transition to heaven.” And then when the person does pass away, I’ve heard, “let’s provide comfort to the family an close friends of the deceased.” I know there are many other uses for the word comfort, and my mind probably does eventually cross those other meanings, but in the beginning it’s about mashed potatoes and death.
Keep in mind, I do realize that there are many comfort foods served at Thanksgiving, but mashed potates happen to be my favorite. If reading this becomes more palatable by sustituting mashed potatoes with sweet potatoes or deviled eggs or corn casserole, feel free to substitute.
In a weird way this week, my definition changed. It took my car stopping in the middle of heavy traffic on a busy highway in Dallas for me to realize that.
Let me explain. Something was wrong with the water temperature in my car. As I was driving and wondering why on earth traffic was so heavy in the middle of the day, my water termperature alert light flashed. Within 5 seconds my check engine light came on. Before I knew it, my engine shut off. While I was driving on a crowded freeway. Because I wasn’t going fast, I was able to ease over to the shoulder with no problem. Because I have AAA, I was able to call for roadside assistance. And because I have a relationship with God, I had comfort in how this was going to end.
The comfort that used to come from Thanksgiving mashed potatoes.
It was 100 degrees outside and even though my car was parked on the shoulder, it felt as if cars were racing by me at lightning speed. (Funny how your mind plays tricks on you because remember, traffic was unusually heavy. No one was racing anywhere.)
I was anxious and scared.
The call time for roadside assistance was about an hour. During that hour, I texted the kids to let them know what was going on, and I text a friend of mine to let her know what going on and that I was okay. In all instances I shared my location because in the heat of the moment, my biggest concern was that I was going to be kidnapped.
Not the car, not the medicine I wasn’t going to be able to pick up that afternoon, not much of anything else. Kidnapping.
But when that fear arose in my heart, I felt a nudge to say a small prayer for my comfort, my protection, and my provision. Once I did that, I played praise and worship music on my phone for about 10 minutes. I took a deep breath and felt much better. My heart felt God’s comfort.
Needless to say, I wasn’t kidnapped that day. And as I’m sure you might have imagined, AAA arrived and transported me and my car home safely. And two hours later my car was working again thanks to a friend who has a hobby in automotive mechanics.
Maybe next time, I’ll listen to His words a little more closely.