God sometimes requires me to do something that appears to have obstacles and seems beyond my power to accomplish. Or it is downright scary! The situation lurks before me as a rushing river, barring me from the new territory of promise on the other side.
One of the scariest things the Lord has wanted me to do is write. As many who know me, even a little, know that writing was not my idea. Six months after I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2000, the Lord whispered to my heart to write for Him.
“Ummm…’scuse me, Lord. Write? Me? But I don’t know anything about writing.”
Silence…just the confirming impression to write. Talk about getting out of the boat and walking on the water! In obedience, yet not having the faintest clue what I was doing, I started writing a book on the topic that He led me to research.
My desk chair became my discomfort zone. Sometimes, my torture chamber. Physically and mentally.
Being an introvert and shy, I was hesitant to venture out. It is scary out there. Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh my! Submitting those first dozen or so articles and devotionals for magazines and websites was excruciating…as I waited…and rejections came to my inbox.
And then there’s the road to book publication. It is fraught with all sorts of intimidating gremlins and rejections. I worked on my book for ten years and it will soon see the light of day and have that fresh aroma of real pages!
I don’t think about the scary parts any more. I just continue stepping out into unfamiliar territory. I won’t fall. The Lord is there. And even if I do fall, He’s there to pick me up, brush me off, and send me on my way again.
Writing is now my passion, my purpose, and my permanent project. My discomfort zone has mellowed, except for an occasional uncomfortable lump of rejection in my chair. I’ll continue to write until the Lord tells me to stop.
We all have our easy chairs, our deep, comfy recliners of complacency that keep us in our comfort zone. No matter what name we assign these situations, whether rejection, doing something we’ve never done before, or obeying God in some new area of life, if we do not get up out of our comfy recliners and step out in faith, these things bar us from receiving all that God has for us.
He does not part the waters of any barrier until we take that first step forward, as the priests did at the river Jordan, “As soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap.” (Josh. 3:15-16a NIV)
When we hesitate, the view of God’s promise on the other side drifts off in the distance. Sitting on the river bank in our easy chair, we cling to our old ways. Only when we dare to get up and step out into that rushing river does God make His power and resources available on our behalf.
When a rushing-river circumstance enters your life by whatever means, what do you do? Do you stick with what is safe, remaining on the river bank, pushing back in that comfy recliner? Or do you step out in faith, plunging your foot into the water?
Whether in writing or any other area of life, if you never take a chance to forge ahead in faith, the writer of Hebrews says that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb 11:6 NIV) And isn’t that your heart’s desire…to please God?
The Lord wants to do something new in and through you. Are you too comfortable to let Him?
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.”
(Is. 41:10 NLT)
(This post is part of a blog chain of writers from Christianwriters.com as we write on The Discomfort Zone. If you’d like to check out the other participants, the list is on the right at the top of the sidebar.)