If you've ever been pushed out of your comfort zone then you know that awkward, panicky feeling that appears in the form of sweaty drops trickling down your spine or a crazy tic in your left eye. Hyperventilation is also a distinct possibility.
I realize some people are thrill-seekers who thrive on change and doing daring things. But I'm not one of them. I like safe. I prefer the comfort of my routine.
However, I'm at a point in life where God has allowed me to become uncomfortable in my own comfort. In fact, I'm willing to radically obey God--even if that means embracing the discomfort that causes my innards to tremble like so much jello salad.
I think when Peter radically stepped out of the boat, his heart thumped wildly, sweaty drops rolled, and he probably thought, "Am I totally crazy?" But when Jesus beckons us, we're compelled to get uncomfortable.
I'm convinced that obediently stepping out in defiance of the discomfort and fear we feel is one of the most God-honoring things we can do, and here's why:
It forces us to cling to God like never before. Think of peeling your quivering child off your leg the first time you took them to (a) school (b) swimming lessons, or (c) the babysitter's. These scary new situations made our little ones cling to us like never before. It's the same for us when we embark on a God sized venture. We realize how much the Lord means to us, and we burrow deeply into His presence, realizing that if we ever let go we're toast.
We learn to genuinely trust God. It's easy to say we trust God when we're plopped on our comfy sofas in our cozy homes, totally risk-free. But when we dare to get uncomfortable, it shows God that we trust Him in a raw, tip-toeing across the high-wire sort of way. And we learn that He is the all powerful safety-net who will catch us.
We grow in grace and truth. How can God's grace meet us if we never make a demand on it? Getting uncomfortable forces us to rely on the grace that enables us. It allows us to experience the truth that His grace truly is sufficient.
We discover God's character. For me, this is what it all boils down to. Knowing Jesus sufficiently to quell the doubts, the fears and the uncertainty that bombard my heart. Rehearsing in my mind His faithful, loving, gracious, compassionate nature always eases my soul. The more we know Jesus, the less we will freak out, even in our most drastic discomfort.
When we're willing to relinquish a measure of our inherently selfish, comfortable ways and become uncomfortable, it pleases God because we realize that life not all about us and keeping us happy and satisfied. Ultimately, discomfort indicates we're living beyond ourselves. It stretches us and makes us more like Jesus.
When we're tempted to take the easy, softly padded route, let's realize that in God's eyes, our willingness to be uncomfortable is a beautiful thing.
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.