Usually when we talk about “comfort zones,” we mean doing something we wouldn’t normally do. We aren’t really talking about physical comfort—the kind of bed we like to sleep in, our favorite pillow, our personal space. But lately it seems that the Lord has been prodding me from my physical comfort, and it hasn’t been, well, comfortable.
Besides the discomfort of the body, though, I’ve discovered that I don’t like being uncomfortable. I’ve gotten used to things the way I like them, and I don’t enjoy when they get disturbed. And yet, when things have required enduring less than ideal conditions lately, every situation has been tied to relationships.
I know the Lord desires me to sacrifice my personal, physical comfort in order to love others, but that really came home to me during a church service during this past Advent season. As we sang a hymn about baby Jesus in the manger, the fact of his physical discomfort struck me. We know He gave up the glory of heaven to walk with us in the dust of earth. But He gave up the comfort of heaven, too. Gave it up to be wrapped in a coarse blanket, laid on prickly hay in a hard manger. Not my idea of comfortable! But He considered His comfort of far less importance than our eternal souls.
People are important to the Lord. And they should hold the same importance for me if I am growing to reflect His nature. I know that. So I sacrificed my comfort in several very different situations over the past few weeks. And while I congratulated myself for enduring, I did not endure with grace or joy, as Jesus did. Yes, I didn’t throw a fit and demand my definitions of comfort be met, but I sacrificed with many sighs and much complaining. I have a feeling I’ll get to do this lesson over again until I get it right.