by Sarah Langness
I like to be comfortable. Sweatpants and t-shirts are my favorite. Dressing up isn’t my thing. I also really enjoy the soft flannel sheets on our bed. It’s not uncommon for one of my first thoughts in the morning to be, “Ugh. I’m so comfortable; can’t I just stay in here for a little longer?” I prefer to take long car trips in my husband’s Ford Focus instead of our Chevy Prism because it is a more comfortable ride. No doubt about it, I like to be comfortable.
I’ve been thinking a lot more about comfort lately. And not just physical comfort like my attire and bed sheets. Comfort in the spiritual sense; in where my heart is aligned with the will of God. To be honest, I like my life right now. I’ve finally come to a place where I can say that I enjoy living in Beulah. I absolutely love my husband and our little boy. I am grateful for the friends I have nearby and faraway. I am comfortable.
But lately, I’ve been struggling with if God wants me to stay that way. I’ve been wondering if God is getting ready to stretch me out of my comfort zone. And that terrifies me. Completely terrifies me.
Tonight as I set out to tackle a small hill of dishes, I pulled up a sermon from my pastor back home in Sioux Falls, Pastor Kirk Flaa. His message from November 4 was entitled “Jonah the Runner: Running in the Storm” and was about, you guessed it, Jonah. A man that if you would have asked me back in elementary school, I would boldly declare that I would never be like Jonah. (Who really runs from doing something God told them to do?) Unfortunately, as I’ve grown up, I’ve realized how like Jonah I tend to be.
I know that in the midst of busy work schedules, looming final exams, kids who seem to need constant attention and meals to cook, it can be difficult to find time to listen to a 30 minute sermon. But if you have time to surf Facebook, read this blog, and pin a couple of craft ideas on Pintrest, you have time to listen to this sermon. Even if you don’t, I encourage you to set aside the time:
As I listened to this message, I was challenged with the thought that Jonah was becoming complacent as a prophet of God. He was becoming comfortable where he was; comfortable in his current service to God. And so God calls Jonah to go to the Assyrians, some of the cruelest, most wicked Gentiles out there. He called Jonah to travel 600 miles away from his comfortable, complacent ministry in his comfortable home. What God was calling Jonah to was not an easy task — it was extremely difficult. The call was not one that Jonah would be able to accomplish in his own strength. It would be one in which he must fall completely dependently into the arms of the Lord, drawing from His strength.
So Jonah did what most of us would probably do: he ran away.
I was challenged tonight to consider if I am running. Sometimes it is so difficult to be certain of God’s call – how do we know that He is calling us to such and such a task? But when the call comes and I am certain that the call is from my LORD, am I going to answer as Jonah did? Or am I going to answer in faith – stepping out of my comfortable, complacent life to follow that call, leaning on strength that can come only from Him? I hope to say that I will follow His call . . . but I really like to be comfortable.