No one more than I loves comfy, serene, and beautiful places. And yet, it’s only from times of agitation that I have seen myself grow beyond what I thought I was capable of. I don’t like this any more then you. We are creatures of comfort and I’m all about creating cozy, inviting spaces in our hearts and homes. However, comfort is NOT to be idolized or it will keep you from reaching your purpose and potential.

My husband asked me if I would speak in the upcoming Sunday morning service, for Mother’s Day, at the small church we had no business starting in Loveland, Colorado. I promptly said, “no”. I had pre-determined quite a long time prior to his request that I was not a public speaker. 

That night I could not sleep. I tossed and turned and found myself wide awake. 

So, I got up and started writing down the thoughts bouncing around in my head about the women who had influenced my life in positive ways. No, I stubbornly was NOT writing a speech for Mother’s Day. I was merely reflecting on the females in my life who I was grateful for and why I was thankful for them.

Looking back to this time nine years ago, I think I was in preparation for a future I didn’t know I was praying into existence. 

If you think God doesn’t know the end from the beginning, try Him and see. Be careful what you are praying for, or maybe don’t worry about it at all because God can be trusted. 

The message version of Isaiah 46:8-11 says this, “I am God, the only God you’ve had or ever will have—incomparable, irreplaceable—From the very beginning telling you what the ending will be, All along letting you in on what is going to happen, Assuring you, ‘I’m in this for the long haul, I’ll do exactly what I set out to do.’” 

Comfort Is Not To Be Idolized

God was stretching my faith in new ways. I longed to be used by Him and therefore God was adjusting my desires to better reflect His. If you are a believer, you will find that God will often ask you to not only develop your abilities, but to step far beyond them, by faith, to fulfill the purpose and calling He is anointing you to accomplish.

Do not let discomfort hold you back from trying something new, pursuing a dream, or listening to and acting on a nudge from your gut or a request from another human (when you know it’s really a request from God). 

Don’t worry, you can always say no. I do. That is until I finally surrender.

If your heart is tender towards God and you truly desire to see Him at work in your life, there comes a point when you begin to know the difference between a mere human request and one that is coming straight from God himself.

Nothing that has brought fulfillment, value, and growth in my life that has come from a place of comfort.

Our places of rest should be comfortable, not our road to growth.

“Comfort never leads to excellence.” – Jeff Goins, The Art of Work

So, I spoke on that Mother’s Day of 2012 after all. I stayed up all night writing the words I didn’t want to speak. Maybe it wasn’t about the words I was saying, but the obedience I was giving that mattered most. Obedience leads to preparation.

I don’t know what God is asking of you today. You may have no problem with public speaking, but everyone has something they fear doing or giving up, or no one would have trouble with fear and obedience.

Maybe being uncomfortable is what finally moves us to take action. I’ve never discovered capabilities without my life being disrupted and my comfortability interrupted.

Comfort

I believe God sees the potential he has put in each of us to flourish in His Kingdom on earth and beyond. He’s calling us to set aside our fears and learn of His goodness through trust and obedience. It’s in this humbling place that God can prepare each of us to prosper and prolong our days in the very land He has created for us to possess.

“Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” Deuteronomy 5:33 NIV

Obedience reshapes our heart towards surrender, protects us from ourselves, and prepares us for the future. This kind of positioning will lead to possessing the land and promises God has for you. Maybe, just maybe this makes obedience a little more desirable to those of us who are a bit more strong-willed.

I’m cheering you on my friend! You got this!

With much love and grace,

Joelle Povolni

Update: Three years later, on Mother’s Day, I spoke in front of hundreds of people on another Sunday morning, twice, at two church campuses. God has a funny sense of humor.

Note: If this spoke to you, I believe God Uses Unlikely People will too. If you are wondering if your efforts of going the extra mile will ever pay off, this post I wrote for Mississippi Public Broadcasting may just be the shot in the arm you need to hear, Why Go The Extra Mile. Bless you, my friend.

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