Out of Comfort Zone

Job 31:34   (KJV)   34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?

Job was asking a rhetorical question. He didn’t fear what people would say or how people would act towards Him—even unfavorable ones. He obviously cared for His reputation—and rightly so; we’re called to let our light shine before men—not for self-タマゴglorification, but for God’s glory. But He didn’t allow anyone to paralyze him to seclusion.

Not everyone is a people person. This is me. I’d rather be in my room or alone rather than socialize—even in party settings. I believe there are many others like me. But we don’t allow this to derail us or shun us from our responsibilities, mission, calling, and destiny. Our destiny is too great for us to allow others to steal it away from us. No, no threat from them, no amount of demeaning criticisms—truth or lies, no belittling looks, no smirks, no condemning accusations will keep us trapped in our comfort zones. We won’t be kept hiding “behind doors.” We break out of it, we grow, we broaden our horizon, and we keep moving farther, higher, deeper, bigger.

Dear God, we realize that You’ve created everyone of us differently—fearfully and wonderfully, but differently nonetheless, and that’s good; that’s very good; that’s how You operate. May we never complain about the way you designed us, rather, may we seize the strengths and the good about our personalities and use them as leverage to take us to each higher step. May we never make a “god” out of people by abdicating our future into their control. With You always being with us, may we face every situation and every person with a realistic yet faith-filled attitude about ourselves, about others, and about life as we keep progressing in our journey—facing each challenge day after day with neither fear nor intimidation, but with courage and boldness. It will take a lot for many of us to develop such attitude, but all things are possible with You and for those who believe in You.

God’s Plans, Our Plans

Matthew 1:20   (KJV)   20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

We have plans. The more important our decisions are, the more we think of them. We spend more time trying to see if our decisions are the right ones. And that’s good. God has wisely given us brains for us to use. But in our planning, we also have God’s plans to matthew-1-20-gods-plans-our-plansconsider—first and foremost. We know it’s true; we’re convinced it’s true: God’s plans are much better than our plans. But isn’t it interesting how there are times when people get a little shaken when He does things differently?

The thing here is, we have our comfort zones, and we don’t want our quiet, safe spaces to be shaken. People get rattled when this happens. And we’re just referring to situations when something else happens instead of what we expect. What if we add cases wherein what happens is beyond our control? Oh boy, the more people tend to get frantically alarmed. Do we ever consider the possibility that when impossible situations come, God may be setting us up for a blessing so especial, so life-changing, even earth-shaking, that when we finally find out about it, our mouths drop in awe? I do.

That’s how God often operates. He’s predictable in many ways, that’s why we can depend on Him. He has clearly revealed so many things in His Word, that’s why we believe what we believe and we behave the way we do. He does what He says He would do, that’s why we depend on Him. But then there are those “secret things” that belong to Him alone, and then there are those things that He reveals to us progressively. Joseph knew that a Messiah would be born, but He didn’t know that was it. Things went fast for Joseph, but the seeming drawback became perhaps the greatest miracle He’s ever experienced in His life.

We plan to the best of our knowledge and ability so that our plans are aligned to God’s plans. If God’s plans are different, we gladly surrender our plans to His. If necessary, God reveals His plans to us—even if they require miracles to do it. When He does, we see how life’s seeming “disturbances” are actually life-changing miracles and blessings. That’s how Christmas started; that’s what Christmas is: a series of wonderful miracles.