Have you ever been confronted with something that you were uncomfortable with? Silly question, of course you have. We all have! That feeling is something that is universal among all people, no matter where (or when) you are from. From the dawn of mankind, and inevitably until the time of Jesus’ return, we will encounter situations where we do not know how to respond, usually due to fear, awkwardness, or even simply being against the norm. One of my goals day to day is to avoid situations that make me uncomfortable, but I find that more often than not, God WANTS me to be in those situations.
When I was in college, I lived in a house with 15 other men (I know!) We were all part of Campus Crusade for Christ, and our house (known as the Cru House) was the hangout place after Cru meetings. There was a brief time period when there was a lot of spiritual growth among a small group of people associated with us. On nights after Cru, they would come over to the house and continue praying, talking, and learning about God. Without getting into too much detail, it got to the point where things were getting a bit uncomfortable for others of us (think old school book of Acts meets new school revivals). When seeking the wisdom of my pastor (who was privy to what was going on), he had one word of advice: just jump in!
With his training, knowledge, and experience, he knew what was happening was not unbiblical, and he recognized that our concern was coming from a place of uncomfortableness and the unknown, not from facts or opposing beliefs. He encouraged us to participate if we felt it wasn’t going against the Bible or our own convictions. I couldn’t shake my curiosity/uncertainty, so long story short, it was in the midst of that uncomfortableness that I learned my spiritual language that to this day allows me to communicate with God on a deeper level.
I encountered a situation at my job several years later that was also difficult for me. I worked for a Christian bookstore that is no longer in business, and part of our job was to meet quotas. Monthly sale quotas, pre-order quotas, special selection quotas, and child quotas. Yes, you read that correctly, child quotas. Our company was partnered with a child sponsorship organization and we provided an opportunity for our customers to sponsor children. The only problem was, we were required to get two children sponsored a month! It was a little upsetting, to say the least. But seeing as it was my job, and getting children sponsored was obviously a good thing for the children, I prayed for God to help me understand why we were required to convince people to commit financially to something for the long term. God’s response to me: “Your quota is two? Then sponsor two!” I jumped in. My wife and I chose one child each, and we had the amazing opportunity to impact two children in need for close to seven years.
What is my point in telling you these two stories? Well, I discovered that by taking the time to pray about those uncomfortable situations, and taking a step in faith when my flesh told me to separate myself from them, others’ lives as well as my own were drastically changed.
The Bible says to “trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight”
(Proverbs 3:5-6). The Bible also says, “come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:8). It is my heart to share this with you to encourage you that just because something is scary, uncomfortable, or it just doesn’t make sense, take that as an opportunity to ask God what He is trying to accomplish in you. I’m not saying that everything that is uncomfortable is always good; indeed, sometimes it is the Spirit warning you to avoid it. But with prayer, wise council, and a willing heart, you may just find that God has big plans for your life, and they are NOT what you think they would be!
Response: What in your life have you been avoiding? Is God speaking to you through situations meant to produce growth and build trust? Give God thanks today and be “confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Joel Schneider lives in Cary, NC with his wife and three children. Originally from Wisconsin, he and his wife relocated to the Triangle to pursue careers in nursing. For the past two years, he has provided care for stroke and cancer patients. As a first time homeowner, he spends most of his free time learning how to fix things, along with attending an online bachelors in nursing program. With a passion for apologetics, he is fascinated with learning how to defend his faith, and hopes to share his journey for truth and wisdom through his blogs.