Think chocolate is not the answer? Maybe you’re not asking the right questions.
Okay, I do know chocolate is not really the answer to all the world’s problems. But it does sort of make a challenge a bit more palatable. Chocolate-coating our discomforts – couldn’t hurt, right? Sometimes chocolate is not only in my comfort zone, but chocolate is my comfort zone.
Did you hear about the recent scientific study that determined 10 out of 9 people appreciate chocolate? It doesn’t matter so much that the math doesn’t exactly work, I don’t argue with it. As a matter of fact, I’ve sometimes wondered how much it would take to cause me to say the words “Now that’s just too much chocolate.” And while I don’t know how much, I’m more than willing to explore the topic through my own personal research.
Other studies – real ones – are always citing more ways chocolate is good for you. So I’ve decided to no longer consider myself a few pounds overweight. I’ve decided to instead think of myself as “chocolate-enriched.” That’s my comfort zone and I’m sticking to it. Also, it’s sort of sticking to me.
There are comfort zones and there are comfort zones. When God commissioned Joshua after the death of Moses, He gave Joshua instructions about the new land He was to possess. He said to him, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh. 1:9).
Sometimes God calls us to step out of everything comfortable. We see it all through Scripture. God called Moses to step out before the mantle was passed to Joshua. God called Abraham to leave his home and everything familiar to him to take off to zones unknown. He called Samuel, He called Isaiah, He called so many more. Jesus called His disciples to step out of their comfortable lives and to follow Him with abandon.
There aren’t a lot of things in this life I can promise will happen, but I can promise this. At some point you will be called to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t be caught off guard. Don’t think you’re being reprimanded. And even more importantly, don’t think for a second that He is not with you in that less-than-comfy place. Be strong. Be courageous. Know He is with you.
It’s good to remember that stepping out of our comfort zone is also stepping into the comfort of His Holy Spirit. It’s amazing – even in discomfort, there’s comfort! Real comfort. It’s comfort not in a place, not in a possession, not in a food – it’s in a Person, the Person of our mighty God of all comfort.
His is the zone of victory – even miracles. Paul spoke of how the churches in Macedonia, though they were in a zone of great discomfort, gave “as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability,” (2 Cor. 8:3). God makes it possible for us to do more than is possible for us to do. It’s “10 out of 9” kind of math, only it’s very real.
As you step out in faith, you’ll find there’s growth in every new place the Lord leads you. You can rest assured He will never ask you to step out of one zone into another without His presence, without His purpose or without His empowering.
There’s great comfort there. Sometimes there’s even chocolate.
Rhonda is a pastor’s wife, happily married and living in the St. Louis area. She is a humor columnist for publications in the U.S. and Canada and is the author of 10 books with more on the way. She says she will keep cranking them out as long as the Lord allows. –And the psychoses hold out.