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Finding comfort in the Word
Inioluwa Ajenifuja, The Mike Contributor
Uncertainty, rejection, hurt, change, relationships, finances — It is easy to get swept up in the many challenges we go through in life which leads to a downward spiral of one’s self-esteem. In situations like this, there is a tendency to feel broken, and that is when we need comfort. Comfort comes from the Latin word confortare, which means to “strengthen greatly.” For me, I find that strength in Joshua 1:9 which says “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The power exuded from this verse assures me that I am not alone. It is easy to feel lonely even when you are not alone. Reading this verse tacked on my study table is the strength that enables me to tackle the many hurdles the day brings. It is the assurance that comes with these words on paper “Do not be frightened,” such powerful words that need a lot of faith to depend on its promises.
Moving away from my country and starting anew in a foreign place was unimaginable. I was going to have to start from the beginning on different terms and new grounds. Everything felt different. I felt different. I made it through the days by staying away from the crowd and contributing only when it was required. Comparing my home to where I was became a habit. How was moving a good thing when I felt this hollow?
I wallowed in that spot for a long time until I stumbled on Jeremiah 29:11-12 where the Lord says, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”
The verse was hard to believe in at first, as it was so easy to see how it did not match with my present situation. Despite this, I kept on reading this verse until I came to believe it, and believing it changed my view of the things around me. The condition to get this promise of a hopeful future was for me to let out a call. “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” This is one thing we tend to forget when we are in a tight spot.
My call was heard. Things started going well and I began to feel more at home. I walked with confidence knowing full well I had plans backing me up. There were going to be challenges and hiccups for sure, as such is life. I was not always brave when these hiccups came—I fell, got up, fell some more and still got up. Falling is a hard process, the temptation to remain fallen is even greater, that is why the ability to stand is called a victory. When this happened, I followed 1 Peter 5:7 (“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”) and cast all my anxiety on him. I knew someone was watching out for me, holding me up when things looked blue, and this mentality kept me going.
It is hard to see the way out of the maze especially when all we think about is how it could go wrong from the start. That is exactly why we should walk by faith and not by sight, and most of all remember to give a call when in need of comfort.