Comfort Isn’t Always #1

I’ve been feeling the need to write for so long but can I tell you that I’m reading this book that is rocking my world right now? The title of the book is 66 Love Letters by Dr. Larry Crabb. I’m not saying more right now because I need to finish reading the book before I write  my review. Just trust me, you will not want to miss this one. Actually you could go ahead and get it now and when I write my review we can have the most WONDERFUL discussions!

Now back to a little smidge of what God’s been teaching me recently.

I’ve mentioned on this blog before and to those who actually know me it’s no surprise, I’m a fixer. I like to fix things and I like to make sure that everyone is comfortable, knows what to expect and is properly prepared for “the next thing.” I’ve actually prided myself (first mistake) on being able to anticipate needs and meet them before they are even realized. On being able to navigate a detour around a sticky situation and get the train back on the right track in the blink of an eye.

Just the other day I was made aware of a set of circumstances that could potentially create some “uncomfortable” moments for a group of friends. Immediately I was in “fix-it” mode. I now realize that the motive behind my actions stems more from being a control freak and less from the desire to minimize the discomfort of others. Trying to control everything is a form of selfishness and self-centeredness. This is me being honest. That’s the first thing God revealed to me.

The second thing was that I need to know when to leave things alone (actually they are not “alone”, they’re in God’s hands). It was as if God spoke so clearly into my soul and said, “Sometimes I put people in an uncomfortable situation as a catalyst. Sometimes that’s what it takes to move people forward and get them to the place they need to be. So, unless I ask you to, please don’t remove the burr under the saddle. It’s there for a reason.”

And as it often turns out the greatest lesson is the most obvious. I can’t count the number of times God has used a stick of dynamite to move this stubborn soul from something good to get me to something better. I’m notorious for hanging out in the comfort zone. I should have realized that I could actually be hindering people from advancing to their next step by keeping them comfortable where they are.

Now my goal is to pay closer attention to the circumstances. In some situations God is moving ME forward and using me to relieve or comfort someone’s suffering. Other times He’s telling me to leave the burr under the saddle, to leave the small pebble in the shoe or the splinter in the finger. He has it covered. He has a purpose. He has a plan. ALWAYS!

Question: So how do you know when it’s time to step in and take action or to stand back and watch God miraculously use irritation to draw out the best in a person? Have you ever seen it happen?


5 responses to “Comfort Isn’t Always #1

  1. Thanks, I feel exactly this same way today. Got some (more) bad news and however uncertain my future may be, I know that it’s going to be up to me to make the most of it!
    God’s plan is not always what we want, nor expect!


    • And my initial reaction to your comment tells me that I still have miles and miles to go before God is finished with me! As soon as I read your comment, my mind and heart went into “fix-it” mode! I don’t know you (other than as Stephen) or your situation but I will pray for you and that you can find peace and purpose in God’s plan. One truth to add is that while that plan God has is not always what we want or expect, it is always what we need. Take care.


  2. As a mom to 3 sons this issue has come up more and more as they get older. It’s also come up with people whom I supervise at work.

    As far as how to tell when to step in and when to stay out, that’s not so easy. I pray, watch the circumstances, & think about the “big picture” – what do I really want for my sons or for a specific employee?

    Your points about stepping in sometimes out of a need for control rings true for me. I’ve done that before also. I’m sure grateful for God’s grace and mercy and that He doesn’t give up on me.

  3. I so wish I knew the answer to the question…I have been on both sides of the fence and have often overstepped my boundaries to fix someone elses problem only to get myself in so deep that it has created issues for me.

    I have prayed and try to know when to step in and when to help. If you see a need and can help, would you not? I believe we must all be lead by the Holy Spirit and listen to the still small voice that guides us; laying our desires and intents down. Not always easy to do.

    We are all on a journey and are being changed daily. Thank God that He forgives us when we fail and straightens our crooked paths when we veer away.

    • Very wise words, indeed, Janet. I thank God every day that my “badness and mistakes” aren’t too much for Him to overcome! 🙂

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