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Being Comfortable with the Uncomfortable

We often seek comfort from God through prayer, scripture, the sacraments, and community with fellow believers. Comfort is not a bad thing, but comfort is not always promised to those who follow Jesus. 


In the Acts of the Apostles Peter is given a vision that challenges his understanding of what food is clean and unclean for him to eat. This vision makes him uncomfortable because it challenges the practices and beliefs he’s held his whole life, but the message of the vision served the purpose of God and the widening understanding of who could be a part of the Church.


Similarly Jesus experienced great discomfort in the garden as he prayed before he was arrested. He knew the path to which God had called him, he hoped God may give him a last minute change of course, one easier and more comfortable, but in the end he stuck with God’s call and the accompanying discomfort.


When we think about postures we take in our life of faith we probably think of things like love, humility, and gratitude, all of which are very important spiritual postures for us to hold. I believe that sometimes discomfort is a posture we are called to hold in our spiritual life. God often calls people to places, people, ways of being that pull them out of their comfort zones, that stretch their understanding and experience of the world and other people. Similarly God will call us into uncomfortable times and situations. When God calls us into discomfort it’s not for the sake of discomfort, rather it’s discomfort for the sake of those in need, for the sake of justice and peace in the world, for the sake of healing and wholeness, for the sake of the gospel.


Discomfort in the spiritual life does not mean we don’t have the peace of Christ. Discomfort doesn’t mean we don’t have hope. Discomfort does mean that we will not know everything, that the road may be scary, that we won’t be able to get by on our own. Discomfort means that we might need to grow, stretch, and come to a new understanding, like Peter did regarding food, in order to follow in the way of Jesus. Discomfort happens in order that we might proclaim the gospel and work for the Kingdom of heaven in all places and with all people. Discomfort happens so that we might ever learn to trust fully in God. The God who has already conquered sin and death in the death and resurrection of Jesus. With these greatest of foes vanquished what have we to fear?


Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

    I fear no evil;

for thou art with me;

    thy rod and thy staff,

    they comfort me.

-Psalm 23:4


May we learn to embrace the discomfort that comes with following Jesus and being about the work of the kingdom in the world. To the glory of God and for the sake of our neighbors. 


Blessings, 

Pastor Brian



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