I don’t like to be uncomfortable in any area of my life. I like things to be simple, smooth and easy. Uncomplicated. Painless. I like to be comfortable.
So you can imagine my unhappiness when I recently experienced some muscle issues that caused me to be uncomfortable. I felt very tight and sore – for no apparent reason. Not only was I uncomfortable, but my movement was limited in various ways.
So my friend Ali has been helping me work all this out. One of the things she instructed me to do was to stretch. I reported that I already stretch regularly and showed her what I was doing. I have to admit, I do those stretches quite well. I’ve been doing them a long time and am very good at them. She kindly pointed out that those stretches are not benefiting me – they were not stretching the muscles that need to be stretch. (insert big sigh here)
So she gave me some very specific stretches to do. They are stretching different muscles. And I don’t like it. I don’t want to do them. They are uncomfortable. They pull muscles that I didn’t know I had.
So I mentioned this to Ali and she confirmed that it will be uncomfortable but it’s needed. She said stretching these muscles would increase my range of motion and ability. Stretching these muscles would enable me to do what I was currently unable to do.
And that’s when it hit me. I do the same thing spiritually. Because I don’t like to be uncomfortable, I stick with what I know. I stick with what I can do. I stick with what is easy. I stick to what is comfortable. I don’t want to get outside my comfort zone because I don’t know what’s out there. I don’t know if I am able to do whatever it is outside my comfort zone.
But Abba started to show me that when He leads me outside my comfort zone it’s for the purpose of stretching me. He is increasing my capacity. He is making more space in me to encounter more of Him. He is making room for more of His Presence.
He is creating more opportunities for me to rely on Him. He is deepening our relationship, showing me aspects of His faithfulness, love and grace that I have not seen before. He is leading me to a deeper place where I can encounter more of His glory.
He is revealing to me those gifts and talents that I have yet to discover. He is showing me a new dimension to the gifts and talents I currently operate in. He is allowing me to experience Him in ways that are new to me.
And yes, He said it would be uncomfortable. It would be difficult. It may even be painful. He said I would need to listen more closely and learn how to become more sensitive to His Presence because this is new territory for me. But He promised that He would enable and empower me. He said “Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” (Isaiah 41:10) And He guaranteed me that it would be worth it. To experience more of Him would be more than worth any discomfort I experience.
So – gulp – I’m stepping out of my comfort zone into the great unknown. I’m going to let Him stretch me by leading me to places I’ve never been. I’m going to say yes to wherever He takes me. I’m going to trust that He is faithful to take care of me. While I don’t know what’s ahead, I am sure it’s good – because He is good. (Jeremiah 29:11)For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
ps – if you need a good physical therapist, call my friend Ali at Healing Hands Health and Wellness. She’s GREAT at this whole stretching thing. 810-387-2225 or 810-531-2096