It came on full force. Unexpected, yet anticipated.
Like a tidal wave developing from afar, you think you have time to prepare for what is about to come, but choose to stay put instead. Lying on the comfort of your own beach blanket, you don’t have a care in the world because life is good. Even though you see something big is about to come your way, you sit back and relax. In your mind, you have adequate time to react. Time to enjoy the moment and not worry about what lies ahead because things are good where you are. Life is good.
There is always safety when you rest comfortably. You can view the wonders of this world from a distance and bask in the awesomeness of God’s creation without any risk. When you’re in a safe place, you feel a sense of control over your life. With no danger or threat lingering in the shadows or hovering over you, it’s easy to stay where you are and soak up the sun. When life is good there is no real reason to move, get up or walk away.
The thing is, the tidal wave is still approaching whether you are ready for it or not. You can run for safety, stay where you are or embrace yourself for the impact.
How you react in dangerous times will reflect your true character.
No person in their right mind would ever tell you to run towards danger. But what if you chose to view the world’s perspective of danger as a beautiful work of art? A masterpiece of God’s creation? A stunning success by the ultimate Designer?
Would you choose to flee from its grandeur or fearlessly walk right into it?
A figurative tidal wave hit me about a month ago and I wasn’t prepared for it. It appeared almost out of nowhere and yet there it was – in all of its marvelousness I felt God nudging me to step out on the water.
Trust Me, He said. This is the answer to everything you’ve been wondering about. Everything you have ever experienced has led you to this place. Will you step out and join Me? I will give you everything your heart desires if you will just walk out of your comfort zone and trust Me. Will you trust Me?
Right then and there, I told God I will accept whatever He has planned for me. Not my will, but His will for my life. I could respond with an open heart and a faith so strong and fearless because of everything God has already done for me. All of the tests of faith I’ve already persevered through, trials that made absolute no sense at the time but that make perfect sense to me all of these years later.
Through a flood of tears, I cautiously stepped forward. Things didn’t make sense this time either. In fact, none of it made sense and I could have sat back and let all of my doubts and questions restrain me from moving. But I didn’t. I stepped out and with each step forward I felt God respond to every hesitation and uncertainty that entered my mind. It still didn’t make sense to me and I wasn’t 100% confident I was even hearing the Lord correctly and clearly, but I walked forward anyway.
The closer I traveled, the more intimately protected and secure I felt. I cannot see or know what is to come, but I trust everything will be all right because my God is by my side.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
“Always let Him lead you,and He will clear the roadfor you to follow.” ~ Proverbs 3:6 (CEV)
So much of God does not make any sense to a human being living in a broken world but that’s because God doesn’t play by the world’s rules. God created the world and He will do whatever He wants within it. Which, consequently, doesn’t make sense to us here on earth and seems to be more challenging or devastating than we care to experience. Instead of embracing the uncomfortable and clinging to faith, many will choose to give up and release all hope that the impossible could become possible.
But friend – God’s way is always best. I can say that authentically because I have chosen to follow it even when I didn’t know or understand the “why” behind His way. God loves to take ordinary people and sanctify them through extraordinary testaments of faith. Abraham, Joseph, Noah, the list goes on (ref: Hebrews 11). Those Biblical legends didn’t know why God wanted them to do some seemingly crazy things or why obstacles kept road-blocking their paths. Still, they chose to trust in the Lord and He used their faith to define and refine their character.
What I have learned over the last 7 years is the “uncomfortable” places we find ourselves are the places where we need God the most. The uncomfort zones we venture into most likely won’t make sense to the outside world looking into our lives. And if we’re being real honest, it is seriously uncomfortable to let down our barriers and step out in a faith we’re not completely sure is leading us to a place we desire. Often times, it isn’t going to bring us to where we want to go but in the end we will realize it the best place for us. It is a place we were supposed to be all along.
We all want to be used for a purpose, we all want our life to have meaning, and yet, too often we stay hidden in our comfort zones instead of fearlessly exposing our vulnerabilities and walking out in the open and into the uncomfortable. If there is one thing I’ve learned throughout the many challenges I’ve faced it’s that stepping out of my comfort zone has led me directly into the comfort of my Father. And that is the place where He always wants me to be.
I don’t know where God has you right now. Maybe you’re lounging on the beach living the good life or perhaps you’ve already packed your belongings and have bunkered down at home. Or maybe, just maybe, you are standing at the shoreline observing the waves developing in the distance.
If that is you, are you observing the beauty in awe or in fear?
Imagine if someone could witness the beauty of YOU stepping out in fearless faith, facing the unknown of what may lie ahead with the only One who truly knows where you are heading.
That is exactly where I find myself right now. Not understanding everything but understanding enough to know that God’s way is best and I want to experience His best. I want to obey His nudges because I know they are pushing me to a place already prepared for me. It doesn’t make sense, none whatsoever. But still, I will trust. Stepping out one foot at a time while I patiently wait for His lead. I don’t know where I am going but I know Who is by my side.
“The people God accepts will live because of their faith. But He isn’t pleased with anyone who turns back.” ~ Hebrews 10:38 (CEV)