I like lists. I like checkboxes. I find comfort in routines, schedules and order. I have been known to write down tasks already completed just for the satisfaction of crossing them off as a visual reminder of what has been accomplished.
I do not like change. I do not like chaos. I do not like the feeling of being unprepared or unequipped. Uncomfortable, painful, intolerable, unbearable, uneasy, awkward, nervous, tense, edgy; just those words alone cause my heart to race, my palms to get sweaty and my body to tense up!
I have spent much of my life within the perimeter of the tidy, cozy and snug comfort zone that I have created with no intention of leaving my safe space.
Then one day, He called to me from beyond the borders of my comfort. “Don’t be afraid! I am here! Come!” (Matthew 14:27-29). Oh how I longed to be nearer to Him. But that meant stepping into something unknown; stepping away from the confines of my comfort zone; stepping into a place without security, without certainty and into something brand new.
What if it was too hard? What if I messed up? What if I failed miserably?
Clinging to my comfort and trying to hide from anything that caused feelings of unpreparedness, I was sure I had misheard Him and my unwillingness to be uncomfortable created a situation of disobedience for me. I quickly listed all the reasons that He most certainly wouldn’t be calling ME out of the boat with Him; I’m not experienced! I’m not ready! There are so many better choices! My sins are too many! I don’t belong there, standing with the Savior!
And so, just like Peter, I had to ask him again to clarify. Is that you God? How can I be sure? Are you really asking me to do this? I heard Him, but I was disobedient in listening to Him the first time. “Lord, if it’s you, command me to come to you on the water.” (Matthew 14: 28).
“He said, Come.” (Matthew 14:29).
Stepping out of your comfort is hard. It’s scary. Success is not guaranteed. But as I’ve seen over and over and over, God does his best work through us outside the borders of our comfort zones. Just like he did with Peter, He meets us where He calls us. Peter wouldn’t have stepped out of the boat without the safety of Jesus there. And while Peter’s doubt caused him to panic and sink, he didn’t drown. While there is no guarantee that stepping out of our comfort zone will be neat and tidy (spoiler alert, it probably won’t be!), we can trust the promises of our Savior woven throughout His Word.
The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
But now, this is what the Lord says–he who created you Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the water, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43: 1-2
Though the wind blew and the waves crashed around them, He called to Peter. Through the uncertainty of the unknown, He called to me. And friend, He’s calling you. Will you step out of the boat onto the unsteadiness of the waves just to draw closer to Him? Or will you stay in the comfort and safety of the boat?
Spirit lead me where my trust it without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.
So I will call upon your name. And keep my eyes upon the waves, when oceans rise. My soul will rest in your embrace. I am yours. And you are mine.
Written by Christina Swecker
- Abraham (Genesis 12: 1-3)
- Rich Young Ruler
- Peter in the boat
- John 15:2 (cut off branches not producing fruit to produce more fruit)
- God does his best work outside of the limits of our comfort zone