Being uncomfortable is an awkward feeling. The times when you walk into a room and you do not know a soul. You go to an event and you are over or under dressed. These are moments that challenge your self esteem or self worth. Many times these situations cannot be avoided. Meetings or events may be linked to your job or have to do with family gatherings or spending time with friends. In these circumstances it is critical to know who you are in Christ and who Jesus is in you. Christ in you the hope of glory!
Then there are times when you are physically uncomfortable. We have served people in
distributing food over the country in all kinds of weather. Cold and raining is probably the worst. It has always intrigued me how many volunteers drop out because the weather is bad. It is true that some of us have jobs that put us in the elements outdoors that make us physically uncomfortable. So you just have to suck it up. In our situation we primarily deal with volunteers. Therefore you can choose to stay comfortable. But there is a variable, we have other people that we are serving. They are exposed to the elements just as we are, and they could choose to be comfortable. Yet the amount of people who stand in line to be served remains consistent. So at face value here we are, both exposed to the same weather challenges and both with the option of being comfortable. However, that looks like the same choices could not be further from the truth. Most of the people we serve are uncomfortable at home because they do to have enough food to feed their families. Therefore whatever weather may be going on outside does not override the lack of food and the need to get food even though they will be extremely uncomfortable. Many of us who volunteer are not choosing between two difficult situations, we are choosing the path of least resistance, really it boils down to choices. Choosing what is easy seems to make the most sense for us but what about the other lives tied to your obedience? Jesus in the garden had to make a tough choice. He could choose the comfortable route and not die on the cross. But He said, “not my will but Your will be done.” Jesus chose the uncomfortable route not because of His comfort to lack thereof. He chose because of the other people who needed Him.
As the rain or snow falls or as the temperature drops I physically become uncomfortable. I longingly think about how nice it would be to be in my warm house or warm and dry place anywhere, but I look once again at the friends we serve and I think to myself they are uncomfortable yet they wait for food. Their hunger and need for food drives them to endure discomfort. I know that I will go home to food in the fridge or food in the pantry. It’s hard to comprehend that someone would endure harsh weather just to receive food. It then hits me that this momentary pain for me is far outweighed by circumstance of those we serve. Their discomfort is just like mine due to the elements, but the growl of hunger in their stomachs far exceeds the weather conditions.
What does that have to do with us? Great question! The answer is simple yet complex.
Comfort leads to complacency. Learn to push yourself outside the limits of comfort.
At times serving is just flat out uncomfortable, awkward and inconvenient. Our goal should be to press through the inconvenience because there is a life with a desperate need on the other side. This is where the battle begins, in the mind, will and emotions. Jesus saw the need and pushed through because He was the ultimate servant. As you and I endeavor to serve it will pull us into awkward moments and stressful situations and at the same time we experience the joy of seeing someone touched by the heart of God through us. The reward of meeting a need is worth the pain and challenge.
So lets step out of our comfort zone and reach out and help someone in overcoming their uncomfortable situation.