North of Comfortable – South of Delusional

North of Comfortable – South of Delusional

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.

If we can’t see the Lighthouse, there’s nothing left for us but to drift, surf, or drown.  images

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.



  1. I’ll never forget being stranded off shore on a sailboat with no wind at all. And no outboard motor. It’s a helpless feeling. Yet, the motion with even a tiny bit of wind creates the effect of a brisk wind on your face.

    Remember bike riding on a hot humid day? The wind on your face is exhilarating. But as soon as you stop, the heavy humid air engulfs you again. The decision to take that step of trusting God is all we need to fill our sails with power. Then, oh the joy of going where the wind carries Us. It’s thrilling.

    You described resistance so well, crawling up your spine. Giving in to it is like trying to set sail without pulling the anchor in first. Your blog is always inspiring. I think I wanna be a “sailor.”

  2. Thanks, Cathee!!

  3. Xo

  4. I loved this post and will share it with my sister. She’s into only the fifth year with her son who is just turning 23. I think of you and your walk with Texas each and every time he falls. I pray she does not have 22 more years to go! You have sailed the ship well and I’ve had the opportunity of watching a part of it unfold which has been a learning experience from behind the curtain. Thank you for sharing. Meanwhile, I’d like to think of myself as only as a “surfer” or “sailor”, honestly speaking……. I have moved in and out of every category! xoxoxo

  5. Still not so comfortable but we’re – a – sailin’. Happy to be aboard. “Oh Captain, my Captain”

  6. Cathee, As always, you express yourself so beautifully and eloquently and touch our hearts. God has truly gifted you and you’re using this gift to honor Him and bless others. God bless you!

  7. Great and timely message Cathee. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Many Blessings,

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