Lately, this question has been swirling around in my brain. Why do we, as complex and creative people, go to such great lengths to be comfortable?
Let me first say that I love being comfortable. (Although some may dispute that since I keep my thermostat on a toasty 67.) I am super practical in the sense of comfort, even down to fashion. If it’s cute, and uncomfortable, it’s a no-go. I don’t even wear heels because they’re not comfortable; plus I can’t walk in them!
But what about our lifestyles? What about the lengths we take to avoid discomfort? To avoid confronting hard things? Difficult situations? Difficult people? Anything difficult? We make so many decisions in the name of comfort, and I believe that in order to achieve breakthrough in any area, we must lay down our labor of maintaining comfort at all costs. I read this bullet point from Christine Caine (a firecracker for Jesus) and loved it.
“PRESS THROUGH TO BREAK THROUGH”
What if the question we subconsciously answer with all efforts to be comfortable isn’t “Am I happy? Am I comfortable?,” but it’s actually “Am I free?”
That formidable wall/fortress you’re standing in front of? Tuck into God and allow Him to be your Commander in Chief. He will show you the best of the best of ways to break through that bad boy. He doesn’t always need a bulldozer, either. (Think Jericho.)
A friend once said, “Comfort is not a fruit of the spirit,” and man, isn’t that true? Why do we go to such great lengths to create a bubble of comfort around us?
It takes DIScomfort to do many things that are worthwhile and necessary to live a full life. It often takes DIScomfort to walk in the fullness God has for us, and it is often uncomfortable to have faith when things look contrary.
It takes pressing through comfort into DIScomfort to:
relinquish control, open our hands and trust God.
lay down our lives.
love the unlovable.
confront negativity. (any confrontation, really)
develop “grit.” (perseverance, tenacity, fortitude)
grow in muscles spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
get fit, stay fit, get strong and healthy physically.
face emotional baggage.
be open and vulnerable.
bust down the walls/obstacles/barriers.
create a new legacy.
share hopes, dreams, fears/hurts and failures.
step out of the boat.
have faith in things unseen.
cultivate patience. (I’m saying OUCH on this one!)
and on and on and on.
When we can say goodbye to comfort, we will also be waving a farewell to complacency, avoidance, apathy, hopelessness, and stagnancy.
So. May I ask you something? What do you say to GROWTH? Where do you need to move beyond all of the body pillows you’ve surrounded yourself with, and step out into discomfort to say “YES!” to something God is drawing toward? Where do you need to face that thing you’ve been avoiding or where do you need to take that risk? Instead of taking the path of least resistance, take the path that God is lighting up before you. There may be growing pains, but it’s always worth it. Just like a finishing a tough challenge, a workout, or a long race of any kind, there is so much joy that comes on the other side. God never sent Jesus to the cross so we could be comfortable. God sent Jesus to the cross so we could be free. And freedom always comes with a price. And when God asks us to “Go,” or “step out of the boat,” we can know He always knows what He’s doing. Live large, live free, and live in godly discomfort. Faith is risky business!
Today, we draw a line in the sand to putting so much effort into comfort and embrace hard things so we can grow and live FULLY! May we be like water in the hands of God. May a resounding YES! be heard from our lips in full trust of the One in whom we live and move and exist. (Acts 17:28)
Be brave! Tuck into Almighty God and press through to break through!
Isaiah 41:10 (NLT):
Do not fear, for I am with you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Go get ‘em! Let our lifestyles be FAR from comfortable.