Written by: Conny Varga
When is the last time you did something crazy? Something that was completely out of your comfort zone? Maybe you made a new friend; or maybe you managed to drive all by yourself from A to B without getting lost; maybe you went hang-gliding; or maybe you decided to have children! Whatever it is, chances are, you felt quite exhilarated about it. You did it, and no-one can take that experience away from you! Even if you tried something and it turned out less-than-glorious, you still tried! And you are a stronger person because of it.
Imagine how Peter must have felt when he stepped out of the boat into a raging lake, with nothing to hold on to except the gaze of Jesus. He must have felt on top of the world! And yes, he messed up, but at least he did it! The other eleven disciples couldn’t ever claim to have walked on water, not even one step. I’m sure Peter never forgot that experience, and he was a stronger person because of it.
God has a way of calling us out of our comfort zones. He wants us to do things that we couldn’t possibly do on our own – like Peter’s walk on water. He wants to stretch us beyond our limits. Why? Because He knows that this is the best way for us to grow, to become stronger, more mature. And because He wants us to be dependent on Him for every step we take, like a little child who is completely dependent on his or her parents.
Too often, though, we rationalize away the mere thought that God might want us to do something outside of our box. I’m not gifted. I’m too busy. I could never do that. This can’t be God’s will. What if I fail? I’m not a Super-Christian. And by reasoning ourselves back into our little box, we miss out on great opportunities of growth, faith, and trust. We forget that it’s not our comfort zone that’s trustworthy, but the Comforter who lives within us.
Let me ask you another question. When is the last time you felt God calling you to do something you thought was crazy? Something that was completely out of your comfort zone? Did you do it? I’m not talking about trying a new dish or getting a different hairstyle. I’m talking about the opportunities God invites us to take. The time when you felt you should do something kind for that person who hurt you. Or the tug you felt to give more generously to a mission. The unease that came over you when you heard about the desperate need for foster and adoptive parents. The urge to sell your home and join yourself to a mission or ministry. The overwhelming sense to pray with or for someone. Those are moments of God speaking to us, urging us to action. Do we listen? Do we step out of the boat?
Jesus faced the same challenge when he struggled in the garden, right before His capture, torture, and crucifixion. He had to choose whether He wanted to step out in obedience to His Father and do something completely out of His “comfort zone”. He had to count the cost of walking away, versus stepping “out of the boat”, so to speak, and impacting mankind for eternity.
If we obey God’s invitation, we grow and become stronger people because of it. We are able to bless, inspire, and serve others. We become active participants in God’s work here on earth. And we become more like Jesus as we are stretched beyond our capabilities. And that’s what God is after. He wants to change us. And He wants to change the world through us.
Today, choose to do something out of your comfort zone. Pray that God would show you the opportunities He wants you to take, and then step out in obedience and “walk on water”!