Comfortability? First of all I know there is no such word. I know because I made it up. Its one of my special traits. I have been using it for a while and have grown quite found of it. Give it a try….you might like unless you are a grammar snob (I love you all). Regardless, the point is that I love my comfort, and my ability to make myself comfortable. Its a “gift” that I have been privileged to have most of my life. I was an only child who never had to share anything with anyone. Not much was asked of me, and there has been little accountability for me in life. My father was absent and my mother wasn’t fully there for various reasons. My grandfather provided for me financially but was not necessarily a father figure. My grandmother loved me and took care of me but did it the best way she knew how. By feeding me the most delicious food that I am sure I will ever eat. Needless to say I was spoiled! Not so much with possessions but with comfort!
Fast forward to becoming a father and marriage. I quickly learned that my desire and love of comfort followed me into this stage of life. This made the roles and responsibilities of manhood very difficult for me as well as the people I was to care for and love. It’s hard to love someone sacrificially when you love yourself more. Most importantly, its nearly impossible to truly love someone sacrificially when you are separated from Christ, and worshiping at the altar of self. Loving the idol of comfort. And no matter how hard you try to white knuckle it through life to try and change the person you have been your whole life it will only last so long. Even after coming to know the Lord I have prayed continuously for Him to make me the man He intended me to be. And that is exactly what He has been doing.
So what have I learned this past year. God does not care about my comfortability! He will use people, circumstances, pain, conflict, and tension to make me uncomfortable. And if Jesus can leave the comfort of heaven only to come face a brutal death on a cross to pay for my sins then why would He! Only by freeing me from my idol of comfort will I grow closer to Him, grow in holiness, and become the man that He intended me to be. It is when I experience things that are uncomfortable and that are contrary to my normal mode of operation that I truly change. Its not easy or pleasant by any means but it is good. Why? Because God is good! He wants good for us, and love us enough to not leave us the way that He found us.
“I am not what you would call a handsome man. The good Lord chose not to bless me with… with charm, athletic ability… or a fully functional brain.” – Paco, The Waterboy
That is one of my favorite movie quotes and one that I can identify with. Even as I write this I think that maybe I have been the man that He intended me to be but I just haven’t fully realized it. Even with my weaknesses, failures, lack, and insecurities. The idea that God did not give what I desire for myself in life and that He has allowed me to live a comfortable life so that in my time of discomfort I would have no one to ultimately trust in but Him. That I would realize it is only in Christ and through Christ that I am and will ever be the man God intended me to be.
I know that the journey is not over, and that He will continue to walk me through uncomfortable moments in life. I still find myself going to comfort at times. The comfort of food, the comfort of laziness, the comfort of avoiding conflict. But I know that my hope is in the promises of God. Not for a perfect life but one that is eternal.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4