Today I want to talk about COMFORT ZONES! I hope you feel comfortable with that. If you don’t, well, that’s…actually okay, too. Apparently.
I’ll be the first to say, my comfort zone is important to me. It is where I retreat. Where I relax. Where I recover. But it is not where I grow.
In John 15:1-5, Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.”
Notice He doesn’t stop with removing the non-productive branches. He even prunes the ones that are already producing fruit! So they’ll produce MORE fruit! Now, I don’t know about the rest of you branches, but pruning does not necessarily feel good. I’d say it’s uncomfortable. Painful sometimes. But what could be more fulfilling for a branch than to grow stronger, to produce good fruit for its gardener?
Is there anything in your life—a task, a friendship, a mission—you feel the Lord is leading you to do, but you’re hesitant to leave the well-fashioned and familiar walls of your comfort zone? In the comments, I’d love it if we could share some of our favorite, most encouraging passages or stories from scripture that combat exactly that type of fear. The Bible is FULL of them! Let’s shake the walls of our comfort zones with raucous praise for the One who can make us live fearlessly. Right here, let’s help one another ask Jesus to give us strength to move our comfort zones ever nearer to the Comforter.
In Chapter Ten of Turtles in the Road Piper finds herself miles and miles from the exit to GET TO her comfort zone. With about fifteen minutes’ notice, she’s told she gets the job of 5th and 6th grade boys basketball coach. Oi.
She handles it…well, she handles it like Piper. If not with aplomb, at least with some moxie. Not the savvy, know-how kind of moxie, granted. But the courage kind of moxie. The willingness kind of moxie. The surrender kind of moxie. (You know. Eventually.)
So even if Piper is kind of a lovable human disaster, I admire her here. We don’t have to let uncomfortable equal immobile. We can let Jesus provide the strength, the peace, the wisdom, the patience, the whatever-we-need with the understanding that discomfort is NOT an indicator we’re going the wrong way. We can even trust Him to do the supernatural work it takes for us to consider a trial a pure joy. What a mighty God!
*(Only slightly) adapted from the Facebook group Bible study Faith-Pump Fridays--which you are more than welcome to join! We meet every Friday morning and would be thrilled to have you!