Living Outside Our Comfort Zones
I wrote the following blog in 2017, but the subject has never been truer than it is right now. Currently, we are living in an unprecedented time. We have essentially been confined to the comfort of our own homes for the past two (going on three) months. We are slowly getting back out again, but very little is known about the future as we venture out. Some of us are eager to head into the unknown. Others remain in the comfort of the familiar. There seems to be no real right or wrong response. It is a time of uncertainty. We are missing the old “normal.” We may have lost our job. We may be struggling financially or emotionally. We miss the things that used to bring us comfort—family, friends, a leisurely stroll through Target (is that just me?). The disruption can upset even the most optimistic person. But this time may also be an opportunity from God to stretch and strengthen our faith. It may be a time to boldly step into the unknown—maintaining proper social distancing, of course! Here is the original blog:
At our house, the love of hockey is undeniable. Our calendar is divided into “hockey season” and “not hockey season.” When the summer temperatures soar, we are bundling up and heading off to hockey practice. The hockey arena is our happy place. By the time our son was 3 he was on the ice, and much to our delight he started skating and hasn’t looked back. But not everyone takes to the ice. One of the most amusing things to watch is a bunch of three to five-year-old munchkins on the ice. As they take their first timid steps onto the ice some begin marching in baby steps and eventually make it across the rink. Others take a few uneasy steps, slip and fall, then get right up to try again. And some crash to the ice, lay flat-out in panic for a moment, before crawling toward the safety of the wall, where they are perfectly content to stay for the rest of the class, no matter how much the sweet instructor tries to convince them to let go of the side. And who could blame them? The ice is hard and cold and wet. It’s unsteady. It’s uncomfortable.
As humans, we crave comfort. We like warm and cozy and familiar. Most of us don’t go chasing the difficult, the scary, and the unknown. When life throws us a curve—something unexpected, new, and different—who do we become? Do we skate boldly with confidence? Do we take baby steps, stumble, but keep persevering? Or are we that skater crawling back across the ice to cling to what is safe and familiar?
When we surrender our lives to Christ, we are called to live differently. He often takes us out of our comfort zones and into the unknown on purpose—to stretch and mature our faith in Him. Living outside our comfort zones forces us to lay our fears and anxieties at the feet of Jesus and faithfully follow Him. To rely solely on Him as our true source of strength and peace in times of uncertainty.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Following Jesus is an adventure. Our lives are meant to be lived in relationship with Him, and when we step out in faith away from our comfort zones, He will do great things—far greater than anything we could accomplish on our own. The Bible is full of people who stepped out of their comfort zones to faithfully follow God. Ordinary people who were challenged to go into the unknown with God to accomplish extraordinary things. Is God leading you from your comfort zone? Is He asking you to change jobs, relocate, forgive someone, serve the church, go on a mission, or lead a small group? Will you faithfully follow Him into the unknown, or will you cling to what is safe and familiar? May we live the abundant lives our loving God designed for us. May we have the faith to trust in His divine plan as He calls us to live outside our comfort zones.