Posts Tagged ‘ comfort ’

Stepping in.

I just started a new job the other day, my first full-time job since my quarter-life crisis a year and a half ago. Pretty great so far. One interesting experience to share…

Our building is equipped with the best in energy-efficient technology, and I’m told we spend an insanely low amount on energy for the amount of people we have in our building. One of the energy-saving measures is that lights are motion-activated.

Disclaimer: I drink a lot of water/tea/coffee, so I run (don’t walk) to the bathroom pretty frequently. I used to receive comments about that, which did sometimes get strange.

I entered the men’s room and saw that it was pitch dark. Thought process:

  1. Did we forget to pay the bill?
  2. Hmm… this is not going to work…
  3. Hmm… I really have to go…

And so I went forward, expecting to grope around blindly to find the appropriate station for my needs at that time. But lo and behold, as I took a few steps in, the lights came on! It was a miracle!

OK, so why do I share that rather mundane story? Why have I wasted a minute of your time to tell you about lights turning on in the men’s room?

Because I believe that many times, we encounter moments like this in our lives, and the way we choose to respond to those times can either hold us back or help push us forward.

Living and walking by faith, not by sight, isn’t easy, but it’s what we’re called to. If we’re truly following hard after God, we will encounter times when we have no clue what’s ahead. We will run into situations where all we see around us is darkness, and hope is nowhere to be found. We will find ourselves in circumstances we never wanted, with people we never planned on running into, doing things we never thought we’d be able to do.

What do we do when we encounter times, situations, and circumstances like these?

With prayer and wise counsel, we do what I had to do in that dark restroom – we step forward. We ask God for courage, for boldness, and we move toward that ambiguous yet promising future that He’s set in front of us. He doesn’t show us the whole roadmap; if He did, we’d trust the map and not Him. But He promises to be with us and to be the light we need to navigate the darkness.

But the decision remains on us whether we will take that first step into the unknown and trust God to provide the light, or turn back and potentially forfeit that chance to experience the Holy Spirit’s guiding hand.

Jesus went to the cross to provide us the opportunity to walk with Him and live life with Him. What’s your response?

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Sacrificing some comfort

Heard a sermon today about sacrifice, specifically giving and fasting. What hit me close to home was the pastor’s question to us – what would God challenge you to sacrifice for His kingdom?

That got me thinking on the way home. I’m going on a missions trip to Thailand next week, and I’m pretty psyched about it. I think the rest of the team is too, but not quite in the same way as I am.

I want the boldness to go after opportunities to minister grace. I believe we will see opportunities come up, but I want God to give me tho boldness to not back down from them. Andy Stanley said that boldness is saying something when it’s easier to say nothing. That’s the kind of boldness I desire.

I have to admit that I don’t exhibit that boldness in my everyday life. I should, but I often don’t. But in Andy’s sermon, he mentioned two of the apostles who had been brought before the Sanhedrin for preaching the gospel. They were thrown into jail for a night, and when they returned to the group, they prayed together.

You’d think they would pray for protection. For safety. Maybe “wisdom” in sharing the truth. But no, they prayed for boldness. They prayed to be even more bold with the gospel.

They recognized that the enemy had put roadblocks in their path that would deter them from their  God-given mission, and they refused to let fear hold them back. They asked God to make them bolder, make them more courageous, so that they would be even more resilient to the challenges they were bound to face.

But we often don’t pray for that, do we? So often, we pray for safety and protection. Do we need it? Paul famously said that “for me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). Do we believe that in such a way that it affects the way we live?

I’m quickly getting to a place in my life that I believe that God hasn’t called me to live comfortably. Don’t get me wrong, I like living comfortably – who doesn’t? But I don’t believe God wants to keep me there. I think that’s why I’ve been so restless and dissatisfied with my current lot in life. It’s plenty comfortable, but it’s way lacking in meaning as a result.

God promised us eternal life through Christ. Is that enough? If it is, then why do we hold on so tightly to everything else and try to get more of it?