(tim note: i wrote this a few years ago when my twin boys started kindergarten. they are much older now, and life looks a little differently, but the message is one I still wrestle with—and probably always will. i love comfort. i love comfort food, comfortable clothes, comfortable friends—i’m a comfort boy. but God’s not that concerned with my comfort. never has been. and it’s only when i’ve pushed away from the comfort during certain key seasons of my life that i’ve grown.)
this morning, my five-year-old twins are doing something they’ve never done before. they got on a bus and rode to school. up till now, they’ve always been driven to their schools. they walked into a large gym filled with people they don’t know and sat down with some teachers they just met on Friday. they have always been walked to class.
they were walked to two different classrooms filled with kids they didn’t know.
they are on an adventure. to us, looking back, it’s not a big deal. each of us have experienced more intense nerve-wracking moments. but at age five, this is a big deal.
they stepped outside their comfort zones—not because they chose to, but because we made them.
although as a dad, I did it more because I knew they needed to, and not because my heart was to throw them out there to try something new.
and as in the case in so many moments during my nine+ years of fatherhood, I once again get a glimpse into God’s heart.
because God pushes us out of comfortable places—consistently.
it’s funny how so much of our Christian lives and our American mentality is about arriving at some place of comfort, while God consistently brings us to places of discomfort. He knews that we love to park on a big spiritual couch.
Abraham was comfortable in the land of his fathers. God said, “go.”
Moses was settled into his life as a shephered. God said, “lead.”
Peter was passionate about reaching the Jews, not the Gentiles. God said, “expand.”
in all our lives, God allows season of rest and comfort, but also seasons of discomfort. Solomon said there is “a time to plant and a time to uproot.”
each one of us has comfortable places in our lives.
in our relationships.
in our habits.
in our perspectives.
even in our sin.
the Bible describes God as slow to anger and abounding in love. i believe God sees the comfortable places in our lives, allowing some to exist for a time, but others He nudges us to move on. and if we ignore the nudge, He pushes us. not for the sake of pushing us around, but He sees what lies ahead, what we can do and how we can grow.
and when He does, it’s always hard, scary, and different. but good things eventually happen.
Abraham was promised a great inheritance.
Moses led a nation and talked to God as a friend.
Peter led many to the truth of who Jesus Christ was and began to unite both Jew and Gentile believers.
i don’t know what your comfortable place is, or your place of discomfort, but you do. you feel it—strongly. it lingers in the back of your mind.
but you can trust God through the new, strange, and different.
life changes, but He doesn’t.
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