Being comfortable is of primary concern for most of us. We want things that give us comfort. We want to be isolated from pain. We want a certain amount of money in our bank account. We want stability. We want all of our relationships to be going well. We want to know that things are going to turn out ok. Put simply, being comfortable is very important to us, or at least it is to me.
One year ago this week Anna and I celebrated the release of my book Am I Loved? with a group of family and friends. As I looked around the room that night a year ago I was overwhelmed with gratitude for two things: God’s love for us and His display of love toward us through people. It was simple incredible to stand among a group of people that we get to live life with. One of the things I said in a short reflection with the group that night was that God’s story is always better, always more adventurous and always more creative. Little did I know that God’s story for our family in 2018 would involve getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.
If you know some of our story, or have followed this blog in 2018, you know that things took a downturn with Anna’s cancer in the Spring. You may or may not know that things took a downturn for me as well in May and that due to stress, anxiety and sleeplessness I had to be hospitalized. Standing in front of family and friends in January at the book launch was comfortable for me. Sitting in a hospital four months later wondering if my wife was going to live and if I was going to be ok was very uncomfortable.
A quick reflection on followers of God in the Old and New Testament reveals that human comfort just doesn’t seem that important to God. What seems important to God is for His people to learn what it means to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I guess more simply put, God is interested in trust. Our learning to trust Him no matter what is going on in our lives. Our willingness to believe that He is for us and with us no matter where life takes us. The wisdom of Isaiah tells us,
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is 55:8-9)
As our family enters 2019 we are attempting to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. The last two years haven’t played out the way we thought, not by a long shot. But what we do know now, perhaps more than ever, is that God is with us, and that His love toward us through people has never felt more real.