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True Comfort is Found Outside your Comfort Zone

How to experience true comfort that is only found outside your comfort zone.

If you are like me, you want to put your fluffy robe and slippers on and curl up under a soft blanket and stay forever in your comfort zone.   But the Lord is teaching me that true comfort is found outside your comfort zone...

True Comfort is Found - Stepping Out in Faith


"God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good.  God's refusals are always merciful - 'severe mercies' at times but mercies all the same. God never denies us our  hearts desire except to give us something better."  ~~ Elisabeth Elliot



This week I want to talk about those times when we know God's will is calling us in a direction outside of our comfort zone, but we would rather stay in our comfort zone, thank you very much!  lol.

I'm sure we have all felt this at one time or another.  I mean how many people like to feel uncomfortable!  But as I explained in my post from last week, had I not stepped out of my comfort zone in such a simple area, I would not have received the blessings that I did.

I always marvel at people, who like Abraham, answer God's call and pick up and move.  Move away from what is familiar, friends, family, childhood, to a place where they feel God is calling them.

Two of my friends did just that.  One of which went through heartache, missing her family members and suffering through a time of loneliness during her first cold, snowy, midwest winter.  And the other, who has endured one hardship after another, with nothing about the move being easy, quite the contrary.

For the friend who experienced loneliness missing her beloved family, the Lord blessed her obedience abundantly by providing exactly what she needed for her ministry right down to the details for her hopes, dreams and vision for it.  She is also now reunited with her entire family who moved out to the midwest as well.

My other friends, are still in the midst of a difficult move, but praising God for how He has sustained them through it.  I KNOW there will be stories of blessings down the road for them for sure!

Sometimes we have to go through an uncomfortable situation to reach a special blessing that God has for us.  But we need to be willing to do so...

True Comfort is Found - Through the River Jordan


At the start of the Israelites freedom, the Lord parted the Red Sea and then the Israelites simply had to walk through it.   But afterward, due to disobedience, the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, until that time which the Lord ordained for them to enter the Promised Land.  However, the way to the Promised Land was through the Jordan River...

Isn't it interesting that the Israelites had to walk through the Red Sea to escape slavery, but had to go through the Jordan River to reach the Promised Land.

It seems the Lord used the Israelites time in the wilderness to strengthen their faith by showing Himself faithful over and over again by providing whatever they needed and making a way for them.  Even though it must've have been a fearsome thing for the Israelites to walk through great walls of water, they could do so without struggle.  But the 40 years of testing in the wilderness is what would make them strong to go through the Jordon River into the Promised Land.

Yet there were some who thought they saw a better country then the Promised Land and did not want to cross the Jordan River...

Now the people of Reuben and the people of Gad had a very great number of livestock. And they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and behold, the place was a place for livestock.  So the people of Gad and the people of Reuben came and said to Moses and to Eleazar the priest and to the chiefs of the congregation,  “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo, and Beon,  the land that the Lord struck down before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.”  And they said, “If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.”
Numbers 32:1-5

How many of you can relate to the people of Reuben and the people of Gad.  I'm over here wildly waving my hand.

I've shared this story in a previous post, but for those of you not familiar,  years ago my husband graduated from seminary.   As he prayerfully searched for a church, my husband would mention ones that he was thinking about submitting a resume to, but if there was something uncomfortable about the position or we would have to move, I seemed to find reasons why "God wouldn't want us to take that position".  I'm ashamed to admit it.  

I always dreamed of a country church and then it happened, a country church in our area was looking for a Pastor!  I thought, surely this must be the Lord's will!  But there were flags even in the interview process for my husband, but I allowed my dream to cloud my judgment of what God's will truly was.  It was definitely the easiest choice for me, my husband and children, but in the end, it was anything but easy.  We were there two years and after much mistreatment and hurt, a mutual decision was made by the church and by us to part ways.

But I didn't learn from that.  Several other Pastoral opportunities came up, and I would always find a reason why I didn't think it would work for our family.  Clearly, I thought where we were was the best place to be...  I am sure we and especially my husband missed out on great and many blessings because I wanted to stay where it was comfortable.

When I first read the passage above, I thought, "People of Reuben, People of Gad, why would you  not want to go to the Promised Land!  For years have you not heard about how wonderful it will be!" And then I was convicted - I am no different...

Why do we settle?  We believe the lie that only what we can see is what is best.

God has soooo much more for us!

For we walk by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7

True Comfort is Found - Outside of your Comfort  Zone


I always go back to the same thought.  Jesus died an excruciating death so that I would have peace AND so that I would live the abundant life.  His death bought those things for me!  Yet, I choose to stay in the mundane of the comfortable where I admit most times I don't feel at peace AND it feels just as I stated, mundane.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. 
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John 10:10

When we stay in our mundane comfort zones, we are exactly where Satan wants us to be.  Rendering us impotent for the Kingdom of God and stealing our joy.  But most especially wasting opportunities for God to show His great faithfulness toward us and to be glorified.

The times I feel most full of joy and have a zeal for life are when I do something outside of my comfort zone...

Like the day after Christmas... 

I have been having some bad bouts with vertigo, but I wanted to try out my cute new winter hat and new warm winter jacket, so I suggested going to Sachuest Wildlife Refuge to look for snowy owls.  Now on a good day, I can have vertigo here because the path goes along the edge of a cliff really and the ocean is all around.  I have also been having major issues with neuropathy in my toes which is making walking difficult at best.  But I prayed that the Lord would steady my steps so that I would not be moved, and I believed that He would do just that!  And Praise God, I walked about 2 miles with no toe pain AND with NO vertigo!  I felt such happiness and joy, like I hadn't felt in a while!   I praised the Lord for His great provision and the blessing that came from stepping out and wholly trusting Him!


How to experience true comfort that is only found outside your comfort zone.


In life, there will be many times where a River Jordan will come along that may look daunting.  Don't choose to pasture on this side where it may look more comfortable, but go through with God by your side and experience the wonderful blessings that await you!

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
Isaiah 43:2

{I wrote about my goal to do something outside of my comfort zone, when possible, every day of the year.  You can read that post here.}


Let 2019 be the year you step outside of your comfort zone and into the abundant life Jesus has for you.  

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this challenge! I know that on the occasions when I have stepped out of my comfort zone in obedience to God I have been blessed, even though there have been challenges too, but it is still to easy to retreat back into my comfort zone and settle for something that seems easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lesley, You are very welcome!

      Thanks for sharing your heart here.

      Blessings,

      Delete
  2. My day job is working as a ministry assistant and so, over the years, I worked with many pastors and their families. What you have described is what I've seen so often! Every time one of them did step out of the comfort zone, some good things happened. I've also seen when the comfortable and the familiar were chosen instead, often disaster and hurt ended up as the result. There is no sure path but the one He has laid out for us. Let us all seek to follow that path!

    Also thanks so much for sharing that Elisabeth Elliot quote: "God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better."

    And, you can't go wrong when you share John 10:10 in a post! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jerralea, Thanks so much for sharing about your observations here.

      Indeed and Amen!

      You are very welcome!

      :-)

      Delete
  3. My husband and I are facing the challenge of leaving our comfort zones in a particular way, Karen. So I can totally relate to your perspective here. And I, too, often resist going on the faith-adventure God wants for me, staying in my comfort zone, like it sounds like you've done in the past. It's a tough threshold to cross over, but I do feel prepared and eager to go into God's unknown more than I have in quite some time! Thanks for this encouraging post! I'll be pinning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beth, Thanks so much for sharing so transparently here.

      Praising God that He is giving you courage to step into the unknown.

      You are welcome.

      Thanks so much for pinning. I appreciate it!

      Delete
  4. God has been speaking to me about this very thing! What a convicting and confirming post. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Praising God that you found confirmation here.

      You are welcome.

      Blessings,

      Delete
  5. Oh, how I needed to read this today! Thank you for sharing your beautiful, wise heart with us, dear friend. You always encourage me and help me in so many ways, and I am so thankful for your transparency and humility. God surely has been leading us farther and farther away from our comfort zone, and even though it is so hard on the flesh, we are finding so much richness in Him, as we progress into deeper spiritual waters. He is all-sufficient, and honestly, I have never loved Him more. SO very thankful for you and our precious blog visits and friendship. May Jesus continue to bless you richly. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cheryl, Oh your family's sweet testimony of living out this Truth has been so very encouraging.

      Thank you so much for encouraging us further through your comment here.

      Thank you so much dear friend. Your words always bring me so much encouragement.

      Sending you much love and gratitude.

      Delete
  6. We've had a year of leaving our comfort zones, everything from retirement to leaving the church where we served and worked for many years. There have been sad moments but overall it has been such a huge blessings. We are refreshed and have a fresh enthusiasm for ministry even in retirement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donna, Oh my, that must've been hard.

      Praising God that He is refreshing you and bringing a fresh enthusiasm for ministry even in retirement. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

      Blessings,

      Delete
  7. Thank you for the words of affirmation and encouragement for stepping outside of my comfort zone. In some areas, it's easy, in others, no so much!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anita, You are very welcome!

      I agree!

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Delete
  8. It's never easy to take that first step out of your comfort zone. While things may not seem to be good as we get used to something new, God still gives us peace when we obey Him. The blessings will follow. Blessings to you! I'm your neighbor at #Let'sHaveCoffee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gayl, Indeed it is not easy.

      Praising God for His peace when we obey.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Blessings,

      Delete
  9. Doing things outside our comfort zone is the way to growth. Thank you for nudging us all toward that goal today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very well said. It certainly does bring about growth.

      You are very welcome!

      Delete

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