Cozy vs. Costly

I find myself at war with myself.
Two desires, locked in mortal combat most of the time.
I want to be comfortable.
And I want to grow.

Those two things are usually mutually exclusive.

The seed has to die before it can sprout.
I need to lay down my life in order to live.
I need to put YOUR agenda ahead of my own in order to really be fulfilled.
I need to love Your people and put their needs ahead of my own in order to really love You.

I don’t like trials.
Or discomfort.
Or being stretched.
I don’t like being corrected.
Or having steep learning curves.
I don’t like feeling foolish.
Taking risks.

It is so much easier to stay in my coziness.
My comfort zone.
My familiar space.

And even here, even now, living cross-culturally in the midst of so many unknowns, I can quickly carve out a familiar, safe, cozy space in my heart.
A comfort zone.
And I can totally stay tucked up in it.
Not risking.
And not growing.

But that is not living
That is not real LIFE.
Not the abundant life You promised.

Because doing that allows me to fully rely on ME.
When I am fully comfortable and fully able, I don’t need You.
When I take no risks, I need no protection.
When I can supply all the things, I need no provider.
When I turn away from the fight, I need no armor.
When I rely on my own strength, I need no supernatural power.
When I walk only in the familiar, I need no Good Shepherd to guide me.
When I hunker down and focus on me, I need no supernatural vision.
When I love only me, I need no healer, no wisdom, no comforter and none of Your love to flow through me.

When I make Comfortable my goal, I am my own god.
When I make Happiness my criteria, I am the center of the world.
When I make Protection my ultimate desire, I miss out on ALL the adventure of following You.

Because You are not about my Safety.
Or my Pleasure.
You are not about my Comfort.
Or my Feelings.

You are all about my heart.
My character.
My growth.
And mostly, You are about me being a reflection of You to a lost and dying world.

You are about me shining, not with my own light but with Your light, the Light of the World.
You are about me showing the world the evidence of Who You are – because what is happening in my life is not possible without You.
You are about taking a cracked vessel and shining through it.
You are about my weakness showing Your strength.
You are about showing hope to the world because they see You – Living Hope – in me.

None of that is comfortable.
None of that is about You making me happy.
None of that is about my pleasure.

But ALL of that is the way to true joy.
The excitement of seeing You at work.
The knowledge that You can take my feeble efforts and multiply them.
The soul-deep understanding that Your love is ALL I need to see me through.
That my circumstances will ebb and flow.
That sometimes I will be comfortable – and often I will not be.

But that You are always, always with me.
Comfortable or terrified.
Safe or at risk.
Happy or sad.
Feeling good or feeling bad.
Relaxed or stretched taut.

You are always there.
And you are always calling me deeper.
Always asking me to be a seeker of Your heart.
Always ready to take me on the next adventure.
With the reward of Your smile.
The warmth of Your “Well done.”
The knowledge that You are exalted.
And the blessing of seeing Your Kingdom advance in my corner of the world.

You will still love me even if I decide to snuggle down into my comfort zone.
That is never the issue.
Your love never changes. And is never dependent on my choices.

But I will miss out every time I choose cozy over costly.
When I value the blessings over the Bless-er.
When I seek Your hand instead of Your heart.
And when I choose relaxing rather than risking obedience.

So do what You want, Abba.
Your ways are best.
I don’t want to miss the miracles You have planned because of my fear.
I don’t want to lose out on the chance to walk on water because I am standing in my way.
I don’t want forego being a part of Your Kingdom advancing because I don’t actually trust You to know what You are doing.

So have Your way.
However. Whenever. Wherever. Whoever. Whatever.
Have Your way.
A new day.
A new adventure in following You!

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