Friday, August 17, 2007

becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable

One of the hardest lessons I've had to learn as a Christian is to work at becoming comfortable in my discomfort over issues and matters that seem out of control, externally or internally.

This is dependent on a faith relationship with God, putting my trust in God in Christ, and allowing myself to be interdependent on a brother or sister in Christ. It is certainly an inward disposition I can't control. I'm really uncomfortable and seem to have zero traction in my life so as to be of any use to others or to myself at all. This is when I will end up learning more and most importantly growing more spiritually, if only I trust God through it all, and seek to be open to God and his will. This is not only a vertical exercise with God, though fundamentally it must start there or has to be worked out there, but it is also a horizontal exercise with others. God means us to live out his will in the midst of others, not so much by our isolated selves, though there are times for being alone.

Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable is part of our training to be godly in a world at odds with this life that is ours in Christ. We shouldn't expect to simply arrive in this, but though it is a part of God's grace to us, we need to work at it prayerfully. It takes time not only in growing in this, but to begin to experience the comfort from God when experiencing discomfort.

So what to do the next time the dreaded discomfort has discombobulated you? Trust in God, be open to God's work. Withdraw some in prayer but don't entirely withdraw from the community of God. I think you'll find what I did today, the Lord is there, he is good and his will for us in Christ is love, no matter what.

What have you learned about this in your life?


L.L. Barkat said...

As I read this, I wanted to know, what is uncomfortable for you? An example from your life. And I wanted to know why it's important for you to be comfortable with this. Again, an example from life to illustrate its importance. Just my curious mind, and a desire to understand you.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L., You're always pressing me for the uncomfortable details of my life, and that makes me uncomfortable, so I need to learn to live in that comfortably! One example! (:

For me this often has to do with some mind matter with reference to truth, but not in a way that directly undermines the Christian faith and hardly in a way that I can imagine could undermine it even indirectly, but it brings me much discomfort at the time. I work with reference to that by reading and studying and praying and thinking through an issue, but often I see these uncomfortable times as attacks of the powers against my mind and myself so as to make my Christian walk, and just walk in life for that time uncomfortable. Then I want to see that as often related to the warfare described in Ephesians 6.

Other times if I'm working through some kind of difficult issue related to a brother or sister I don't want to withdraw from them just because of that. This too is uncomfortable, but in this too, I seek to find the comfort of God, or become comfortable in that.

And just in general as a principle. Life is full of troubles and difficulties- trials. No way one can see such as anything but uncomfortable, but I see faith as helping us through them to live in them in the comfort that comes from God.

Something like that.

Anonymous said...

ted, i tend to agree with you here. i think that in discomfort it is a good time to get closer to God, to know that God is with us through discombobulation and life in the times in first gear or a flat tire for that matter. and i know this sounds a little backwards, but for some Christians, too much comfort feels uncomfortable. :-) PRAISE GOD ! His is with it through it all !

L.L. Barkat said...

Ah, you have made me smile!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy, Thanks. And too much comfort being uncomfortable: good point! A dissatisfaction can creep in and a kind of wakeup call, and then those times can result in one getting out there into God's working and mission in Jesus again, in some way.

Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L., Maybe I can get more of that element in my posts that you seem to like and seems so important to you, and probably to others as well. It is there is some posts in that way.