Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Beauty In Discomfort

Here’s the way I see it… you can either fight against your circumstances or you can stop and see what you can learn from them. At the moment I’m choosing the latter.

I think when uncomfortable things find their way into our lives it is our natural response to squirm and try to wiggle our way out of them. It doesn’t dawn on us that maybe that discomfort just might have a greater purpose in our lives. That if it’s present in our life maybe there’s is something we need to learn from it.

This is not meant to advocate apathy mind you. Sometimes you have to fight against circumstances to make it somewhere in life. But I’m talking about the uncomfortable seasons that God will sometimes take us through to help us learn and grow that we often run from.

God uses so many different things; people, places, events, circumstances to prune and refine us. This pruning and refining process is never easy or comfortable; but it’s so necessary. Trials and challenges grow us and teach us important lessons that we may not learn any other way. They make us better people; more compassionate, more patient, more caring, loving, and giving. They make us more beautiful on the inside. If that is we stop fighting against it and let God have his way in us.

" Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:2-4 (New International Version)

Our limited human sight can’t see the big picture at work during these times but in hindsight it becomes clear. Why would we want to forfeit the beauty that God wants to grow in our hearts just to be comfortable? The beauty that lies ahead if we let God take us through the valleys far out weighs the temporary discomfort.

The hardest times in my life, the pain that I’ve gone through have truly made me better. There’s a depth of compassion and love that I would probably lack in had I not walked through some particularly hard things with someone I love. When I’ve gone through painful and uncomfortable things I’ve learned to run straight to the Lord. And he has always been faithful to take the discomfort and pain and turn it around for my good, just like Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

So with all the beautiful pruning and refining he’s done in the garden of my heart thus far I know I can keep trusting him with the discomfort and pain. I know he’s going to keep making beautiful things out of this soil if I only let him.

So while some may call these circumstances that my family and I are facing now a “burden”, and some may wish it on us as a “punishment” … today I choose to never see it that way ever again. I will continue to pray, just as I did today, that we will have the strength that we need to lovingly and patiently make it through. And that in the process God will have his perfect way in us. That we would learn whatever lessons we need to learn through it, that we would grow and mature, and become more beautiful inside. That no matter how long this season lasts that we would honor this time in our lives by not murmuring and complaining but learning and growing. I don’t want to forfeit the blessing of this season by squirming my way out of it. Because I firmly believe in the end it will be worth it.

This is our season to learn what it means to truly love unconditionally. This is our season to grow in patience. This our season to deepen in compassion and tenderness. This is our season forget ourselves and learn the meaning of selflessness. Our season to honor, respect, and give back the love we’ve received.

This is my new perspective and even when it gets stressful and hard – which it will – I will remember. So okay God, here I am, your student … ready to learn through the discomfort.

"Not the trials, mind you, but the invitation to believe God for victory has been a blast." -Beth Moore, Believing God

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