I like my ruts. They’re comfortable. I like clothes that fit easily for the same reason; comfort. I like chairs that have the right amount of stuffing and the right size seat, too. Comfort is nice.
But sometimes comfort is dull. You get dusty and creased from too much comfort. Maybe, like comfortable shoes, you’re almost worn out. That’s not so nice. Sometimes it’s better to leave what’s comfortable for the unknown, risking the possible discomfort that might result. Let me tell you what happened to me—
Thursday May 1st, 2008, was the National Day of Prayer. I walked about a mile from where I worked to participate. Some of you may have been there, also…Anyway, part of the schedule called for the people to break into small groups to pray for different areas of need in our country—government, emergency responders, the family, the church, the schools. Everyone joined the group they felt they were to be in, and I joined the group for the church. After a time I felt led to pray a confession of being too comfortable inside the walls of our church buildings. (Here is where you say ‘uh-oh!’) I didn’t think of it as a PERSONAL confession, you understand, but there you go. I was too comfortable, doing what I had been doing for a long time with little change and probably little impact in the kingdom of God.
Before I go on, you need to know that I had never felt much urge to go on a mission of any type. I liked that others were doing it, and I gave a little money sometimes to help, but I didn’t want to go, myself. It was out of my comfort zone!
The next day I went to work: I was a janitor at my church. A friend called during the day asking if I had time to pray, and when I am asked that I know I’m to say yes. So she came by, we talked a little, and I admitted to her that I wanted to go with a mission team to New Orleans to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. This desire sort of came over me, and I was as surprised as anyone about it! So that was one of the subjects of our prayer.
That evening on the news was an article about how good everything was in New Orleans. Talk about timing! It gave me a natural opportunity to tell my husband that not everything was as they said, to which he said he knew, and to bring up my desire to go to help. I was amazed when he said, “OK, go.” I was beginning to get a glimpse of God working here…
That was Friday. Early on Sunday morning I was doing my devotional reading in 1 Chronicles. In chapter 28:6-21, King David commissions his son Solomon, telling him that he, David, has prepared everything necessary in order to build God’s temple: all the supplies, raw materials, and plans—everything. All Solomon has to do is build it. That’s when I really KNEW, rather than understood in my head, that if my Father in Heaven wants me as His child to do some work for Him, He provides everything needed to accomplish His will. So I wrote a card which is still in my Bible, telling God that I wanted to go and that I needed EVERYTHING: money, transportation, the timing, literally everything. Then I got ready and headed for church.
After I arrived, I realized that the next team was leaving the next morning, but I picked up a packet of information and forms, thinking that I would be ready for a future trip. I also spoke with the pastor’s wife, who was coordinating the team, and told her I wanted to go. She said that there was another trip planned for the fall, and I went home thinking about raising the money I would need.
After lunch, my husband went outside to do some work in the field, and I sat down to relax at the computer. Pretty soon, the phone rang, and the pastor’s wife asks me, and I quote, “Is tomorrow too soon?” Dumbfounded, I said I’d have to talk to my husband: he had agreed I could go, but he didn’t have any details to go on when he said it. So after asking a couple of questions I hung up, went out to where he was working, and asked, “Is tomorrow too soon?” He asked how much it would cost, and I said it was paid for. So he said OK again! I had 14 ½ hours to cover my work for the time I would be gone, notify others to whom I had prior commitments and find a replacement, pack, get some sleep, and be at the parking lot to catch my ride to the airport at 5 o’clock Monday morning. Monday evening I was in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tuesday morning I was working to help renovate a widow’s home, and beginning to understand what service is. It was a whirlwind, to say the least! But God was in charge, and I didn’t lack anything while I was gone: He provided everything.
So are you comfortable? Maybe a little creased and dusty? Wearing out? Maybe life has been sort of dull?…Confess that for what it is: sin. Make yourself available to God. Then watch out! You might be, as I was, a stone in His slingshot, aimed at a need. It may not be comfortable, but it is truly living—living in God’s will.