You know when you are so busy that you just go and go and go and when you finally sit down, your exhaustion hits you like a wall of bricks? Yes? That feeling is descriptive of this semester of school so far. Sure, between the schoolwork seven days a week, bible study twice a week, trying to squeeze in time to actually sit back and relax, trying to plan next semester’s classes already, and wanting to spend time with family and friends, I have a bit going on. But these things aren’t the main sources of exhaustion.
I think my main source of exhaustion is coming from myself and solely myself. If the title of this blog told you anything, you could probably guess I am going to talk about comfort zones. No brainer, right!? That is exactly where my exhaustion is coming from: trying to cement my feet in my comfort zone and not move an inch. In fact, I have been trying to stay inside my “circle of comfort” for as long as I can remember. Lately, however, I have been feeling a tug on my arm. At first, the tug was gentle and soft, but the more I resist and try to ignore the tug, the stronger and stronger it has become. I am spending increasingly more energy fighting back from the pull, using all my will and strength to be still as a rock and not move. I know, eventually, I will be fighting back so hard, the pull will stop and I will go falling backward onto the cold, hard ground with a loud and heavy thud. I should just give in, right!?
Okay, maybe that was a complicated analogy. Long story short, I am stuck in my comfort zone. God is trying to take my hand and gently lead me where I need to go, but little old Jessica who likes her comfort zone is fighting back. As God starts to pull harder and harder at my heart and hand, I spend more and more energy trying to stay where I am. That is where my exhaustion is coming from, my continuous fight against God. Thinking of it in this way really puts it into perspective for me. I don’t know where He wants to lead me, and what lies ahead, so I try to resist the pull. But, there is a reason He is pulling me that way. He is leading me somewhere bigger and better. Somewhere I can better do His will. He doesn’t want me left behind on the cold, hard ground as much as I don’t like the idea of falling down on the cold, hard ground. But, yet, I resist His pull.
I think it is human nature to have some fear and doubt when it comes to new situations. Sure, we like adventure and fun every once in a while, but going into those things completely blind isn’t as exciting and invigorating. Obviously, as I have just revealed, this is something I struggle with. The thing is, the Bible is literally filled to the brim with verses encouraging us to trust God and to trust that where He is leading us, there is only great things ahead.
“I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear or be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9
“It s the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” -Deuteronomy 31:8
These are two of my favorites among all the verses on comfort zones the Bible has to offer. Imagine this: You are a little kid at a huge carnival with hundreds of people and things going on all around you. If you try to explore by yourself, you will get distracted by the cotton candy over that way, the games this way, the inflatables the other way. You will turn the other direction when a scary clown comes into view. The large moving crowd will push you and send you in all different directions. You will get lost so easily.
Of course, another analogy, but hear me out. Us, the small children, can be so distracted by our own wants and desires. We can be scared away by issues popping up in our lives. We can get lost in this crazy hectic life. That’s where God comes in. As the loving Father He is, He takes our hand in His and tries to lead us where we need to go. Away from our selfish distractions, away from danger, away from the craziness, and toward the place we need to be. Sometimes this won’t be easy on us. It will test us and challenge us and force us outside of our comfort zone. But, in the end, we will be better for it. We will never be lost when we hold on to our incredible Father’s hand and follow Him wherever He leads.
Sometimes, especially now, I need that encouragement to stop wasting energy telling God “no” and start saying yes. It is scary, it is new, is is something I am not used to, but it is God’s will, and He will never fail us or forsake us. I may not be sure what I am saying “yes” to at the moment, but only time will tell. God’s mighty hand is holding mine, the path is unclear, but I can trust that God knows what He is doing and knows where He is leading me.
God’s got dis.