Freedom Friday: Embrace Discomfort

We are in Boston.

I’m back in our condo, the place we’ve lived for the past 6 1/2 years.

It’s comfortable here.

I know where everything is. I know what to expect. Sure, it has its cons, but at least it’s predictable.

As I walked in for the first time in 6 weeks, I couldn’t help but wonder:

Did we make the right decision?

Change is hard. I’ve written about this before.

Since May, I’ve been training for a marathon. I kept thinking that because God called me to register, it would get easier. I’d get faster. Maybe I’d even get that light and fresh feeling that runners talk about.

I have some issues with my legs. They hurt, a lot. They feel like lead sometimes when I run. They never really feel good.

I had a hope that God would heal them while I was running, that He would be glorified in how quickly and how gloriously I finished.

Well, God did not heal my legs while I ran. And while I started off strong, I kept getting slower and slower. My stomach revolted. My body screamed at me for pretty much 20 miles.

But I didn’t give up.

I decided since God called me to run to raise awareness about a cause about which I am deeply passionate, since He asked me to be a voice for the voiceless, it wasn’t about glamor.

As part of our transition to Virginia, I am leaving the ministry that God has allowed me to shape over the past 9.5 years and be shaped by. As I spoke to my dear, dear friends at Alive in Christ this week, I remembered something.

Often we must embrace the discomfort in order to be obedient.

We must embrace the discomfort to get to the Promised Land.  I wrote about this in Stepping into your Jordan (one of my favorite posts, and a timely reminder).  I wrote about it years ago in Craving Egypt.

The Israelites did not want to embrace the discomfort.

Egypt was familiar. Yeah, they might have been slaves, but there are meat to eat there, not this miracle bread from heaven!

And the Promised Land was scary. There were giants there, and rivers at flood stage, and towns with high walls around them.

I finished the marathon. It was not pretty.

And as I spoke to my wonderful perseverers at Alive in Christ the other night, I reminded them (and myself) that sometimes we need to embrace the pain of discomfort in order to take hold of all God has for us.

Today, I pack. Today, I keep answering the same questions: did you sell the condo? Did you get jobs? No and no. This move doesn’t make any logical sense, yet we embrace the discomfort in order to walk forward in what we believe God is calling us to.

Lord, I don’t want to wander aimlessly in the wilderness for decades when the journey need only take 2 weeks. I want all You have for me. Help me to trust, to step out, to take hold of Your hand as You guide and lead. Help us to embrace discomfort, believing that the Promised Land is on the other side.

Monday Morning Meditation: Faithful to His Promises

We are (finally!) continuing the series on Psalm 71. I encourage you to read the whole psalm here.

It has been interesting to reflect on this psalm over the past month, as it has become clear my dear loved one will be going home to Jesus before too long.

I began this psalm series in August, before we knew the current prognosis.  The psalm is all about the end of life and David asking God to remember him in his old age.

Let’s look at the topics we’ve touched on so far:

Lots of truth to be found in this psalm.

Now, here are today’s verses (v. 21-22):

You will restore me to even greater honor
and comfort me once again.
Then I will praise you with music on the harp,
because you are faithful to your promises, O God.
I will sing for you with a lyre, O Holy One of Israel.

It’s helpful to remember verse 20, for some context:
“You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth.”

Not only will he be restored to life again, he will be restored to greater honor and receive comfort once again.

When I read those verses in the context of end of life, they take on an even deeper meaning.

David then moves back to praise.  There is so much praising in this psalm it almost hurts.  Praise is not my default when trials come, when life seems to overwhelm.

I recently made myself a playlist of worship songs that I called, Absorb Truth. I just sit and listen and take it all in even when I struggle to believe.

You are faithful to Your promises.

This is David’s reflection in his old age.  God, just as He said, has been and will be faithful to His promises.

God recently answered a prayer of mine that I prayed 11 years ago.  In doing so, He showed me His faithfulness to His promises. His answer brought me great comfort.

You are faithful to Your promises.

Thank You, Lord.  Help me to trust in You.