Out of My Comfort Zone

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the story of Paul and Silas in jail in Philippi. You know, the one where they’ve been “severely beaten,” thrown in jail with their feet clamped in stocks but yet they “were praying and singing hymns to God.” If you’re not familiar with it, you can find it in Acts 16, and, oh yeah, my teenage son could probably tell you all about it without even cracking open his Bible. He has heard it before. As a matter of fact, he has heard it many more times than he would have cared to hear it. Apparently, it’s one of my top five “go to” soapbox speeches. I used it when we told him he was going on the Higher Ground trip (Reader, please note the use of the word “told” in place of “asked”).

It’s part of my job as a parent to push my child outside of his comfort zone, do things that he can learn from, and have mountain top experiences (literally). I’m here to break that sense of entitlement that our culture tells us we are, well, entitled to. Walking with the Lord is counter-cultural. It’s about being a servant, not being served. Hey, I’m an adult; I know all about this, I’ve passed this test already.

That’s what I’d like to think – that I’ve been out of my comfort zone and passed the test. I even have a check list to prove it. College-check. Grad school, extra credit for that year I lived on peanut butter toast. Successfully employed for over 25 years-check. Married over 20 years-check. Being a parent for 14 years-check. Outside of my comfort zone-been there/done that. I’m at that time of my life where I’m entitled to a little comfort. After all, I’ve earned it.

Or so I thought. For the past couple of years, I’ve been outside my comfort zone in more ways than one. I have to say that I agree with my son – it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, and I don’t really care for it that much. God knows all about it too. Apparently, He says it’s one of my top five “go to” prayers. He keeps opening my Bible to 1 Peter 4:2. “Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.”

I’m slowly starting to realize that there are good things outside of my comfort zone. God has good things for me here. I’ve seen them. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that I’m going to take up residence outside of my comfort zone. But I trust Him when he says, “I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in from every dark corner of the earth, telling you ‘you’re my servant, serving on my side. I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear, I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” Isaiah 41:9-10.

For today, I will put my trust in my Father – my parent who pushes me to do things that are outside of my comfort zone. Things that I can learn from, that break my sense of entitlement, and teach me that He is all I need. Today I will trust in Him and let tomorrow be what it will be, comfortable or not.

Other Posts You Might Like:

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And…He Walks with Me - Laurie Templeton

S-L-O-W - Casey McCollum

Responsibility, Ramadan and Prayer - Bob Bentley

A Precious Gift - Bob Bentley



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