I have never done a word of the year. The one time I considered it, I ended up with a paragraph instead of a word.
What can I say, I have issues condensing.
With the new year in its infancy, I’ve been wanting to focus in on God’s desire for my life and the places He wants me to go. (figuratively and literally) Because of this, I’ve sought to find a word.
But instead of one, wouldn’t you know it, I’ve found several. These are themes that God is bringing to the forefront of my life.
I’ll be sharing some of these words over the weeks to come, along with how we can allow God to use these words He brings to change us.
The first word that keeps appearing in my heart and mind was a little unexpected and yet, there it was:
Yes, you read that correctly, it’s not a typo.
Couldn’t you just envision that engraved on a super cute copper bracelet?
At first, I suspected that I had missed something. Maybe I was on the wrong frequency. Perhaps God was on channel 3 and I was on 2 and his message got jumbled.
However, after listening and seeking, I realize that’s not the case at all, because suddenly the station is coming in crystal clear.
So, I guess it’s time to get uncomfortable.
It’s not that God wants me to go sit out in the freezing cold or sleep on a hard floor. Well, maybe he does, I mean, it is only January—you just never know what the year could hold.
No, I believe He is calling me to step outside of my carefully crafted comfort zone. (whoa, say that three times fast!) What this means is that I must take chances and do the things that specifically make me scared, uncertain and uncomfortable.
Isn’t this just like Him? He beckons us to climb out of the dry boat and walk amongst the waves to see just what he is capable of.
God never called us to a comfortable existence here.
He called us to many things when we become Christians, however, comfort wasn’t one of them. I can’t find anywhere that says my comfort is the most important thing for me, maybe you can, but I haven’t yet—believe me, I’ve been looking—and I don’t think I will. *sigh…
Because of this, the conclusion I’ve come to is that we were never meant to be comfy Christians. Instead, we have been petitioned to live in faith.
And let’s be honest—this faith thing;
It can be just plain uncomfortable.
“Also if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not win the prize unless he competes according to the rules.” 2 Timothy 2:5
I don’t know about you but I often desire the “thing” but hate the uncomfortable means by which it arrives. It’s like Paul mentioned in 2 Timothy when speaking about being a good soldier for Jesus, we have to compete to win the gold.
What exactly does it mean to compete when we’re talking about our Christian life?
Well, in the original wording it is athleo, (looks familiar, doesn’t it?) which means to engage in a contest, to endure and finally… to suffer.
I’ve noticed when I pray for something intentionally, such as wisdom or patience, for example, I don’t think of how I will receive it.
I just want it.
There are numerous bible studies on the above topics. Who doesn’t love a good book on gaining wisdom or patience? But here’s the thing about studies; I may attain a better understanding of what these things look like, but I don’t necessarily acquire the thing itself.
These character traits usually only come through experience.
They come through hard-fought battles.
I believe most Christians have a desire to love more, have increased patience and greater faith and earnestly seek these traits out of a sincere heart.
But who really welcomes the circumstances that will allow us to practice our patience, love those that are unlovable and be in a place where we have nothing but faith to lean on?
It’s almost humorous to me that the very thing we pray for often comes about by rather uncomfortable means.
Just like receiving a gold medal without doing the hard work of running a race, we seldom receive the ends of godly character without the means of trial and testing.
And you know, the most amazing thing to me about all of this is that Jesus knew just how this felt.
Let this cup pass…
When Jesus was hours from the end of his life here on Earth, he was praying to his father in heaven regarding his will.
“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” 39And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26
He didn’t want to die and he didn’t desire to suffer. But he did want us saved.
So, he suffered anyway. He is our perfect example of choosing our father’s will above our own.
He didn’t have to die, he chose to die.
He chose the most uncomfortable situation imaginable. For me.
Trusting in him doesn’t always feel comfortable, in fact, I would say more often than not it is uncomfortable. Because it goes against everything I know about being in control.
In the past, I would purposely avoid uncomfortable things.
However, this year, I’m wanting to walk out in faith and get uncomfortable, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that God will do amazing things.
Sure, it feels scary, but what we often don’t acknowledge is just how scary faith is.
While we all love the wispy watercolor illustrations of faith, we forget the real thing looks gritty, ragged and sometimes threadbare.
Following Jesus when he tells us to get out of our comfortable, dry boats and walk out on the water is no easy task. But when we do, we can be assured he sees what we can’t and he’s waiting, hand outstretched, ready to walk with us.
As always, thanks for stopping by!