Where do you run for comfort and why? We’ve learned from Psalm 23 that sheep are timid and afraid when they find themselves alone or sense a predator. And what do they do—run!  We all have different stress levels, can feel overwhelmed, and afraid at times depending on our life experience and the circumstances we find ourselves in. We need God’s comfort, but sometimes we just don’t want to face the reality of life, so we escape—we run away from the only true Source of what we need.

We live in a materialistic, fast paced world and many find escape from stress in comfort food, social media, binge watching Netflix, or there is the old saying, “when the going gets tough the tough go shopping!”  Amazon on your phone makes that much too easy.  I wish I could say that I’ve never run from the stress of life and escaped by doing any of those, but I honestly can’t. In and of themselves they may seem harmless, but if habitual, they can become so time consuming that our relationships suffer and most importantly our relationship with the Lord suffers. Those might seem harmless in comparison to drug, alcohol or relationship addictions that give people an escape from dealing with life, but are they really?

Our loving Good Shepherd longs for us to run to Him when we’re feeling overwhelmed, sad, depressed or scared.  He wants to be our source of strength in the hard times we all face, and Jesus came to experience every human feeling and emotion we have so that we would know that He has felt the same things and understands. He created us, He knows us and “discerns our thoughts from afar” Psalm 139.  If we know and trust His love for us, why wouldn’t we seek our comfort in Him?

When we run away from God’s protection, eventually we face the unpleasant consequences of our choices—wise parents know that is how children learn and God will allow consequences for the same purpose. It’s our choice to run to Him and find comfort and strength by talking to Him, reading scripture, and being still to listen so that we can hear His whispered words of wisdom.  We can choose to run away from the hard stuff in life and our feelings, or we can run to our Good Shepherd—the Keeper of our soul, who gently instructs and tenderly comforts.

Meditate on Psalm 17:8 today.  We don’t have to be afraid when we trust that God is in control.

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