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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Comfort zones

Comfort zones. I know about them. It's trying to keep things the way they are or were regardless of what may or may not be the future. Like I didn't want to leave the comfort of the newsroom because of my singular perception of what classified (new department now called customer care) would be like. I didn't really have a clue what it would be like, but fear of and for the unknown was nearly greater than any possibilities God might have in mind for my good.

Well, it has been nearly a month since my move one floor down. Much has changed and more changes are coming. Many people have been moved out of their comfort zones and not all by choice. Economic necessity has prompted most if not all of it.

Between studying God's word, the Bible, Daniel Ekhaifo's book, "Pursue Your God-Given Dream," and Elizabeth George's book, "Loving God With All Your Mind," I've decided we should not settle for where we are or what we have and think that is good enough. What if God wants us to go beyond our comfort zone? What if He has some higher plane for us to travel? What if God has in mind a new job, a new task, a new challenge? We will never know if our goal is to retain what was. And what does it matter about the benefits? We talk about our needs. We need a certain salary or hourly wage, we need benefits, medical, dental, life insurance. We need. We must meet our expectations.

But do we? Must we? God knows what is going on. If you are His child, you know He knows. You know He always has your best interests at heart. You know He knows all things and He knows what He's doing.

Think back to God's purpose for you. Is it, "What can I get out of life?" No. It's about abiding with the Lord Jesus, in His word through study, meditation, obedience, learning how to live through Christ and teaching others to do the same, showing His love through us.

Jesus stepped out of His comfort zone ... for US, because He loved us, loves us still, because He knew it was His Father's will.

"With God all things are possible." (Matthew 19: 26a)

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8: 28)

Everything in life is touched first by the hands of God. Everything that comes -- good, bad, big, small -- is used by God for our good.

Only God can show you where He wants you to be. There is not any one other person who can give you the answers you seek. Only God is fully trustworthy, fully fail-proof. Input received from family, friends, co-workers, can be beneficial. But for the best insight, seek out God.

'This is what the Lord says: "Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness on the salty flats where no one lives. But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit." '(Jeremiah 17: 5-8)

Go beyond the comfort zone, abide with Christ for every occasion, in every situation. God will lead you and you will be content because of your one-to-one relationship with The One who truly matters. Be a blessing ... find opportunities to bring good to another. Move beyond ... meet challenges ... pursue dreams.

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6