As I sit down to type this in the quiet of the morning, I hear little feet walking the opposite direction and a sleepy voice saying, “Hey Daddy! Where’s Mommy?” It’s early in the morning, and I’m in my favorite spot in the house: on our couch, under my favorite patchwork quilt, watching the fog lift over the small pond which is across the street from our home. This is one of my favorite times of year! The early mornings are so crisp and clear, and I can see the world wake up from the warm comfort of my house! I can tell it’s cold outside, but I’m nice and warm under this well-worn quilt right in my comfort zone.
Cayden has now wandered into the living room in his Spider-Man jammies, and he’s found his favorite spot. He’s snuggled as close to me as possible and has started in with the usual morning questions. “Where are we going today? Where are we going after school? Will everybody be at church today? What letter does ‘bunny’ start with?” He’s officially kicked back in his comfort zone!
The Cambridge Dictionary defines your “comfort zone” as “a situation in which you feel comfortable and in which your ability and determination are not being tested.” We’re all pretty quick to sign up for that, right? In our comfort zone, we’ve literally got everything exactly as we like it. The temperature is just right; we aren’t being asked to do anything too hard; we’re kicked back and relaxed! It’s like we are living our best lives, but are we really?
In Revival Kids, we just finished a series called “Road Trip” where we journeyed through the wilderness with the Israelites. They were so far removed from their comfort zone, but let’s review the story. They looked back at slavery in Egypt as their comfort zone! Can you even imagine?! They were on their way to a land promised to them by God, and yet they wanted to go back to being enslaved in a foreign place. Shortly after seeing the Red Sea parted and walking across on dry ground, they were complaining to Moses that they should have just died in Egypt. Exodus 16:2-3 says, “And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, ‘Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’”
They were so consumed with their complaints and worries that they overlooked the incredible miracle they had just experienced. If God was able to part an entire sea, would he not be able to provide them with the necessities they needed to make it to the Promised Land? But, let’s not look back through the centuries with our judgmental side-eye just yet. How often have you and I experienced supernatural provision one day and been convinced that God has clearly forgotten about us the very next?
Most of us know how the story of the Israelites’ journey continues. God provided water from a rock and turned bitter water into a sweet stream. God provided manna from heaven, and then provided quail when they grumbled about not having meat in their diets. He protected them from enemies and guided the entire assembly with a cloud by day and fire by night. They experienced God in their daily lives in ways that are astounding! They saw His guidance with their physical eyes and saw the cloud of His presence rest upon Mount Sinai when Moses received the Ten Commandments. With all of this in mind, you would think following the Ten Commandments would have been a walk in the park for them, right?
Well, think again. Moses hadn’t even finished hearing from God when the Israelites were asking Aaron for a god to worship. They’d seen all of these miracles! They knew that Moses was currently in God’s presence, and they were asking Aaron to make an idol they could worship. In one act of disobedience, they were shattering the first two commandments! They placed a graven image before the one, true God and bowed a knee to an idol that had previously been their golden jewelry. How far removed were the miracles of God from their memories?
And yet in 2021, we act in very similar ways. While it is true we don’t melt our jewelry to create items to worship, we must ask ourselves: how often do we give more priority to temporal things than to our faith in Christ? We could all jot down a long list of things that can be idols in our lives, but humor me for a moment. How often does our own comfort zone become an idol in our everyday lives?
Maybe you’ve felt the Holy Spirit nudge you to speak to a stranger at the grocery store, but were worried your words wouldn’t be received. Maybe you’ve known that God wanted you to pray with a friend over a cup of coffee, but were more comfortable trying to offer advice. It could have been that a new opportunity was presented, but you were afraid to take that step where you knew God was leading. In all of these situations, we want to cling to our comfort zones. It’s uncomfortable to tell a stranger that Jesus loves and sees them. It stretches us to pray over our friends. It can be unnerving to take a leap of faith and wait for Jesus to catch us….but that’s where God’s grace abounds!
It’s in the discomfort and stretching that we grow deep roots into Jesus. It’s in the unnerving leaps that we learn to trust in the hands of our almighty Savior. It’s there that we are able to dive into the places where He’s calling us to meet with Him. When we truly place God in His proper place in our lives that is when we experience who He is! So while the stretching can be painful, let’s embrace the pain, throw off the comfortable, and dive into the arms that promise to never let us fall!
This is so true and challenging! Love it!
As I was reading so many things came to mind that I fret over but are truly nothing and I realize it's time I could be giving to God.
Great word Tabitha. ❤🙏🙌
A challenging word that is timely and well written. Great job! I needed this reminder.