Are You Comfortable?

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but when my college admissions counselor called to inform me I had been awarded enough scholarship money to pay for more than half of my tuition, I was disappointed.

Disappointed.

Here I was, receiving thousands of dollars just for getting enough questions right on the SAT and sounding like a decent guy in interviews, and I was disappointed. Why? I had been positive God was going to give me more. In fact, I had been positive God was going to give me a full ride to John Brown University. It just made too much sense. I do not come from a rich family. Paying to go to a private university – even one as low-cost as JBU – was not something we could do easily.

That’s why I knew I was getting a full ride. I knew God had called me to attend JBU, and I also knew he did not call my parents to have trouble supporting me as I went there. So when I got that call, saying I had received a half-tuition scholarship plus a few others my counselor had managed to score for me, I was disappointed.

What the heck did God think he was doing?

Either my dad picked up on this frustration or God nudged him in just the right place, because a few days after this phone call, he said something to me that has stuck with me for a long time. There was a longer speech attached to it, but the gist of it was that God doesn’t call us to be comfortable.

It’s simple, it’s convicting, and – worst of all – it’s true. I wish it wasn’t. I love being comfortable. But when you look through stories in the Bible of great men doing great things, they all start with God telling someone to do something uncomfortable. God told Moses to ask one of the most powerful dictators in the area to free his entire slave labor force. He told Abram to leave his home without telling him where he’d end up. He told Jesus to get himself nailed to a couple planks of wood.

God doesn’t call us to be comfortable.

When we’re comfortable, it’s easy to forget God. If I have a gigantic stockpile of money and a job that pays generously, do I really need to ask God to provide for me? If I only hang out with people I like, do I need to ask God to give me the strength to love them like he loves me? If I refuse to engage in conversation with people who don’t know Jesus, do I need to ask God to give me the words to effectively share my faith?

God doesn’t call us to be comfortable.

It’s in those moments of discomfort that we really grow. Discomfort spurs us not only to grow closer to God, but to do things. Because I didn’t have a full ride to John Brown, I learned to trust God for money, and I ended up getting a job. The job was at a small radio station where I gained valuable professional experience, and eventually got the chance to take over a little weekend rock show called Jesus Freaks.

God doesn’t call us to be comfortable.

Question of the Week
Has there ever been a time in your life when you were able to grow closer to God or do something special for him because you were “uncomfortable?”

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