Comfortable misery (religion)

Published 1:19 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2016

By Chanel Bingham

My topics of personal writing come from my own life’s journey and the lessons that God has and continues to teach me along the way. I have experienced brokenness and loss, but I have also experienced astounding love and grace.

I share the hope I have found with others, praying that it will provide even a small glimpse into the great vastness of the love God has for them.



As a result of His great love and the hope that is only found in Him, I have seen many lives transformed. However, for some, healing is prolonged because they are unwilling to embrace the process of recovery.

Last week, I shared with you the process of my own physical recovery and how it paralleled my journey through spiritual healing. I explained how I fought against it because the pain was so great, and I had become content to reside in my own “comfortable misery.”

Today, I want to expand on the concept of comfortable misery by sharing with you an illustration from John 5:2-7:

“Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame and the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ ‘Sir,’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’”

Although I am always astonished each time I read this passage of scripture at how long the invalid laid beside the pool waiting for a healing, I can also relate to this broken man. Just as he offered an excuse to the question, “Do you want to get well?,” so many of us have our own excuses. When a provision of help and healing is offered, we reply with a “But God” list:

But God, the person who hurt me doesn’t deserve my forgiveness.

But God, I don’t want to face my pain.

But God, I don’t know where to go from here.

But God, too much time has passed.

Just like the man lying beside the waters of Bethesda, we offer up excuses that prevent us from being made whole. God understands that we are not capable in and of our own strength to bring about our healing; He simply requires us to be willing to receive it.

There came a point in my own spiritual journey where I realized if I were to ever be free from my misery, I had to throw away my “But God” list and walk into the healing God had ordained. I came to the realization that there had to be an exchange of the negative excuses in my life for God’s truth and hope that would redeem my pain and brokenness. It looked a little like this:

I exchanged the lies of the enemy for the truth of God’s word.

I exchanged my fear for faith.

I exchanged my doubt for hope.

I exchanged my unforgiveness for forgiveness.

I exchanged my weakness for His strength.

I exchanged my brokenness for wholeness.

I don’t know what hurt you have experienced in your life, but I do know that there is a God who loves you enough not to leave you in your own comfortable misery. I pray that you will experience a deep faith and lasting hope that will shatter the excuses that have kept you from entering into your healing and you will find the strength in Him to exchange your chains of bondage for freedom and wholeness.

“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.” John 5:8

Chanel Bingham is a freelance writer, blogger and public speaker. She resides in Thorsby with her husband and four children. You can visit Chanel at or on Facebook at “The Polished Canvas.” Her column publishes each Thursday.