The question is…can you do something you don’t necessarily want to do in order to obtain a result you would like to have? ~ Andy Andrews
When God asked me several years ago if I’d wait it out, if I’d do it for Him, I flinch now to admit, I had to think about it.
I was standing on the deck, dusk stealing over the lake and little lights beginning to twinkle across the water. My favorite time of day, but my heart was heavy over a recent phone call telling me Texas was using again.
How much longer, Lord?
How many times had I asked that question? Countless. But this day was different. This day I heard an answer.
“Will you wait this out? As long as it takes? Will you do this for me?”
His questions stunned me. Resistance crawled up my spine and fear tried to nestle deep.
What? How can you ask me that?
Andy Andrews words above pose a hard question. (Have you ever noted that Jesus didn’t really ever ask easy ones?) What has God asked you to do that is north of comfortable?
- Move forward after a terrible loss
- Accept circumstances you cannot change
- Make a risky choice with no guarantee of success
One thing I’ve picked up on this long journey home – what he asks of us is always doable, but not always comfortable. To my dismay, it seems he doesn’t care much about how comfortable I am. He wants me to grow and that requires circumstances that stretch me. He waters the plant I am, but he never floods. I may stand in manure now and then, but I’m never buried in it. That would be delusional and God has never been under any illusions when it comes to what we’re able to endure. He knows the exact limit and he doesn’t push past it.
When it comes to being uncomfortable in order to get results we want, we seem to fit into four categories:
Drifters – the people who just go with the flow, moved back and forth by the wind and waves of their circumstances. Their motto is “Whatever!”
Surfers – these guys have learned to ride the waves, but their focus is on the next big thing.
Drowners – people who stay in the center of the storm. You can rescue them from one crisis but in no time they’re drowning in another one.
Sailors – while they may find themselves in the same storm, they counteract the wind and waves by hoisting their sails, fixing their sites on the North Star, and navigating home.
As always, we have the Pattern Son, for our example. He mentored us in pressing past comfortable.
…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 12:2
That evening on the deck, I struggled with what God was asking of me. He never minds when we wrestle with the angel, but the truth is we will always walk away with a limp.
Of course I’ll do it for you. I already agreed a long time ago to do whatever you asked.
Eyes brimmed and I dared not think how much longer it would be. It was already 27 years. But as it turned out, there was only one year to go and knowing I was doing it for him, made all the difference.
My intention is never to preach “at” you, but if you have nothing for which you would be willing to suffer, you have little for which to live.
Life is an endurance race and we’ve already been admonished by Paul, “through much tribulation we enter the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). That leaves you and me with but one option:
Rig our sails, twist the rudder, and fix our compass north of comfortable.