"God, teach me lessons for living so I can stay the course. Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—my whole life one long, obedient response."
Psalm 119:33-34 (Message)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Uncomfortable...A Way of Life?

Have you ever been so uncomfortable that it became comfortable? I know that may not make sense, but like when your foot falls asleep from how you are sitting. It becomes uncomfortable but you are still comfortable, and you know if you try to move your foot how much more uncomfortable you will become when you wake your foot up.

But what about life? We don't like to be uncomfortable. We don't like to be in uncomfortable situations, or conversations. We like things to work out smoothly. We don't like to squirm or look foolish.

As a Christian I wonder are we supposed to live comfortable? Are we supposed to have life work out? I know that it doesn't. But why do we think that because we are following Christ that it should? I thought that being a Christian meant being Christ like and Christ did not have a "comfortable" life like we think we should.

Take for instance when Jesus was at the well and the Samaritan woman came to get water. That was an uncomfortable situation. Jesus was resting and here comes a woman, a Samaritan woman. Jews did not talk to Samaritans at all. So maybe a little awkward but she is coming by herself when no one else was going to be there for a reason. She was living a life of shame and Jesus knew that. Little uncomfortable I think for both the woman and Jesus. But what does Jesus do? He asks her for a drink of water. He a Jew asked a Samaritan woman for water. But He didn't stop there. He took time to say I know how you are living your life, but there is hope for you. She left and went to get other people in the town and they came and listened to Jesus and believed. It all started with an uncomfortable situation and conversation.

What about the time when another woman was caught in adultery and was brought in front of Jesus? He was at the temple and had just sat down to teach to the people who were around Him. And thrown at His feet is a woman with none or little clothes on crying knowing she is about to be stoned to death. Not only was she thrown at His feet the Pharisees said to Jesus "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law of Moses commanded us to stone such a woman. Now what do you say?" (John 8:4-5 NIV) The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus not in a private setting but in front of a lot of people on a big issue. I would say this was a little uncomfortable for Jesus and probably for the woman and maybe others who just wanted to hear Jesus teach. But no one moved, they waited. Jesus could not get out of this one even if He wanted to. But I like what He said to them, "If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Talk about turning the tables on them...now who is the one that is uncomfortable? Probably the woman still. But now the Pharisees are uncomfortable, their trap just got turned on them and they knew they were not without sin. So they left. I wonder did they take their stone with them or drop it on the ground? After the last person left Jesus says to the woman "I do not condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin."

Another event that was an uncomfortable time was when four friends of a man who was paralysed lowered him on a mat through the roof of a home where Jesus was teaching. So who is uncomfortable here? Maybe the man who is paralysed...it never said if he wanted to be lowered and healed. I am sure who's ever house that was that now had a hole large enough to fit a man through it. And sure uncomfortable for Jesus, he was in the middle of teaching to all these people when this man appeared from the roof. But Jesus saw the faith of this man's friends and said to the man, "Friend, your sins are forgiven...get up, take your mat and go home." (Luke 5:20, 24 NIV) So he did. (There was another uncomfortable situation in the middle of this story you can go and read it in Luke 5:17-26)

Here were three situations and conversations that probably were uncomfortable for Jesus and others involved but what and how did Jesus respond? The Samaritan woman He showed her LOVE. He loved her enough to not just talk to her but give her hope and a chance for a new life. The woman caught in adultery He showed her GRACE. He knew the law and that she deserved justice but said "I don't condemn you...leave your life of sin" (John 8:11 NIV) He gave her another chance. And the man who was paralysed Jesus showed him MERCY. He didn't have to forgive this man of his sins, Jesus could have just healed him and said go on with your better life. But He didn't Jesus covered everything, the sin and being paralysed.

What amazes me the most is that Jesus welcomed uncomfortable situations and conversations knowing that it would give someone the chance to be changed by love, or changed by grace, or changed by mercy.

That is how I want to live my life. Uncomfortable. Especially if that means someone's life can be better because I chose to be uncomfortable for a moment.


The Champion Clan said...

Hi Kim,

I enjoyed reading your blog. John has always said if we are comfortable then something is wrong. That used to be easy to say, but God has showed me the truth of that statement in a way that has been very difficult. To be uncomfortable is to have no control, but to let God have control, which means to trust Him completely. As I look back over the last year, I have been completely uncomfortable, I have had no control and the truth is if I could have it my way, I would like my comfort back. However fortunately at the same time I have given God complete control - so - I am uncomfortable. Kind of a weird place to be. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to tomorrow. Love Dawn

an encourager said...

Kim Dear,

That is a wonderful teaching. I do not like to be uncomfortable...not now, not ever, not in past, not in future..... and particularly, not in the present! And yet.... that is the condition I find myself in so often...and gripe about. So, maybe that's why I'm so cranky all the time - I need to accept that uncomfyness is included in God's plans, as you so wisely pointed out. Thanks. I needed that!!!! :)