The Discomfort of Wet Blankets

There is nothing quite worse than a wet blanket. A blanket is meant to bring warmth and comfort. But when it’s wet, forget it. Whether you’re camping, curling up on the sofa, or tucking a little one in bed for the night, nothing is more sure to steal away the cozy contentment of the moment than the moist misery of a wet blanket.

On a cold winter night, after a long day, the reassuring allure of the bed’s comforter is sure to bring a small smile to the face as you turn in, wriggling and writhing your way into the perfect position, encapsulated and covered in warm, down bliss… unless of course it’s not dry.  Coming off a trek of mountain biking in the rain, climbing out of the pool, returning home from hiking at the falls, getting out of the whitewater kayak, and bringing the newly washed believer out of the Jesus-name baptismal tank each begs for the same thing; some dry towels. Of all the characters in the Word of God, it would probably be Job who could best warn us about the wet blankets who come our way…

Job 16:2 (KJV)
2 I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.

As Job sat in the ashes of his own life, the deprecated filth of his own body’s decay, the remorse of of how things used to be, what he needed was some comfort. What he needed was for someone to dry the tears. What Job needed was for someone to help soak up the sadness. What he got instead was far from soothing. In the wake of multiple speeches, each subtly directed at what each “friend” saw as fault in Job, this servant of God was given what so many suffering are handed in a time of need, a wet blanket. This person is the one who seems determined to bring living definition to the idiom “misery loves company.” The wet blanket is one resolved to not have a good time and to do their best to ruin yours. The wet blanket is a bore, a dinosaur, a drip. People who model the exemplar interpretation of the expression are fogeys, fuddy-duddy’s, killjoys, and party poopers. Wet blankets are spoilsports, squares, sticks-in-the-mud, and stuffed shirts. And don’t be fooled; there are plenty around in church circles too.

Job 13:4 (KJV) But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.

Job puts it plainly but truthfully. When a supposed friend cannot offer comfort in a time of suffering and need, they are as useless as an untrained physician is to the sick. When folks are down the last thing they need is to be kicked lower, and yet, this is the reflexive action of the by-standing, on-looking, gawking, judgmental wet blanket. What the Church needs is less of these and a lot more warm, loving, inviting, comforters. People are already soaked in their own sorrow. Individuals are already keenly aware of how immersed they’ve been in trouble. Folks don’t need a wet blanket dousing, steeping, and submersing them in more anguish, guilt, and unhappiness. What people are looking for is a comforter.

Ps 69:20 (KJV) Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.

If anyone knew trouble, it was David. If anyone had intimate battles with depression, it was David. If anyone thoroughly understood the grieving of loss and remorse, it was David. Anxiety over life, circumstance, the future, and the past cause people to be heavy enough; what sinners are looking for is a Church of pity, with arms open, ready to lift them back up. What the brokenhearted have always needed is a warm comforter, not a wet blanket.

Ecc 4:1 (KJV) So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

Seemingly all generations, whether those tolerating tears or those plying power, are in need of a comforter. The Lord Himself described His mission as one of rescue, “to seek and to save that which was lost.” God came to Earth as a replacement for every wet blanket who has ever lived. He came to supplant all miserable comforters with another…

John 14:16 (KJV) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

To bring to bare the full measure of His peace to a drowning world, God has commissioned His Church to blanket all the nations of the Earth with this Comforter. (Matthew 28:19-20) The indescribable beauty of His Master Plan includes those unsuspecting of such a great honor; we, who were once soaked in sorrow ourselves, have been called to go out and cover the lowly, the broken, and the hurting. As the Temple of His Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 3:16), the Lord has empowered the body of Christ to take the Comforter with them everywhere they go. When the world tries to hand the hopeless the discomfort of a wet blanket, may the Church ever give them Jesus instead.

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