Bible Ballistics: BBs #710 COMFORTABLE???
A Guest Post from my friend Taryn Spurlock
When you search the definition of COMFORTABLE you may find “providing a position of contentment and security.” Eleven months ago, I received a phone call from a sweet mentor asking me to consider writing occasionally for her blog. Eleven months ago, we were facing the beginning of a “historical event” known as The Covid-19 Pandemic. Here I sit today as a witness of another “historical event” all within a year’s time. This time we are facing multiple states experiencing historic cold temperatures and snowfall. This is just plain crazy. You know you have said the exact same thing.
The past few days have brought on so many challenges to stay warm, prevent damage to our homes and businesses, and our personal family favorite (NOT) virtual learning! However, my observations the past 24 hours have stirred my heart to think of the word “comfortable.” Please give me a moment to explain.
Multiple states and millions of people have been asked to turn off as much as possible to conserve energy. They are asking us to look at the “long haul” to avoid long term issues. Here are some comments that I have heard:
- “Ummm… there are subzero temperatures out there and you want us to turn down the heater? It’s cold! I’ll freeze!”
- “How do I keep my pipes from bursting?”
- “How come I experienced my power being turned off but those people over there didn’t? Not fair!”
- “How come the internet is running slow?”
- “Don’t they know I pay them to have all the power I want!”
- “My kids deserve to have fun and not have to do school work!”
- “I deserve to be COMFORTABLE!”
These words keep coming to my mind:
When God wants you to grow, He makes you uncomfortable.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:3-12
How many times do we find ourselves having those same types of complaints with God?
- “God, have you seen my schedule? I don’t have time to do ministry and have any time to relax.”
- “God, you want me to give 10% of MY EARNINGS? Seriously! I worked for that!”
- “God, I go to church, I teach on Wednesdays, I serve on the welcome team, and THEY get their prayers answered and I don’t?!?!?”
- “God, I need you to give me an answer NOW! Quit being soooo slow! I don’t have time for this!”
- “God, I tithed… NOW GIVE ME WHAT I WANT!”
- “God, I know our family has missed church several Sundays this year, but this team means the world to my kid and they deserve to have a fun childhood.”
- “God, I deserve to be COMFORTABLE!”
Yep… I’ve said some things like this in 35 years… I admit.
GOD DOES NOT CALL US TO COMFORT.
We want to serve God, but we also want to remain comfortable. But if we’re honest, true spiritual growth happens in our most uncomfortable seasons of life.
I’m currently going through a study about Elijah. When I read these words today regarding Deuteronomy 29:16-29, they stopped me.
“Despite the fact that these negative results of the people’s disobedience would adversely affect Elijah too — such as the land being “unsown and unproductive” so that “no grass grows in it” (Duet. 29:23) — he was brave enough and committed to God enough that he still prayed for it. Out there in Gilead, in the remote starting point of Elijah’s ministry — the starting point of his process — he had developed such a commitment to Yahweh that he was willing to pray for His will to be done above all else, EVEN ABOVE HIS OWN COMFORT.”
-Priscilla Shirer, ‘Elijah’
It is my prayer that I take the uncomfortable moments in my life, in the past and in the future, and seek how God wants me to grow instead of complaining or comparing. They are a part of my testimony; therefore, they are part of my ministry. God sees “the long haul” when He takes us to uncomfortable places.
Thank you God, for the cold, gray, and uncomfortable days. Use them for Your Glory and may we seek to see the beauty in those moments.