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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.


I remember your ancient laws, O LORD, and I find comfort in them. 
 Psalm 119:52

I recently received a thank you note from a friend for a meal I had taken. Her appreciation for the “comfort food” as she put it—plain old roast chicken and potatoes, veggies and salad, and still-warm cinnamon cake—got me to thinking. Did I have a comfort food? Do you? What is comfort food anyways?

The term was added to Webster’s dictionary in 1977, so it certainly is recognized terminology: “Food prepared in a traditional style having a certain nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” Roast chicken would fit, as would my favorite prime rib with all the fixings. Whenever we sat down to a roast beef dinner, it was in the company of family and friends, dished up with familiarity and considerable camaraderie. Of course there is the other twist to comfort foods—whatever you turn to in the cupboard when you are highly stressed—that would be dark chocolate!

I laugh when I think of the apparent comfort food of the Israelites, grumbling as they were to Moses and Aaron in the desert: “Why didn’t you let us die in comfort in Egypt where we had lamb stew and all the bread we could eat?” (Exodus 16:3a The Message)

Well, this morning I sat down to my other favorite comfort food—God’s word. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth (Psalm 119:103). I think about yesterday’s list and savor the comforting flavors of the Spirit’s truth and revelation and intercession. I munch with delight on the following time-honored staples:

·         Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins. Isaiah 40:1-2

·         Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.  Isaiah 49:13

·         “The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.”  Isaiah 51:3

·         “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you;”  Isaiah 66:13a

·         Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13

·         “Proclaim further: this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.’” Zechariah 1:17

 Nancy P

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