I remember a conversation my wife and I were having with a friend a few years back. She talked with us at length about how miserable she was with her fiancé and how unhealthy their relationship was. They would constantly fight and couldn’t agree on anything. Our obvious question to her at the end of our discussion was, “Why on earth would you get married to him then?” Her response… “We’ve been together so long that we might as well stay together.”
- Many of us can relate to being in a season of our lives in which we feel stuck or trapped. It’s a terrible place to be. It’s one thing to be in a place of testing where we’re calling to patience and longsuffering. It’s another thing entirely when we embrace complacency and call it endurance. This happens when we sense God calling us to one place but we choose to remain in another. We hate where we are, but the idea of change scares us so much that we endure what I’ve come to call “comfortable misery”.
- I know that for me as a believer, I have often been tempted to justify these seasons in my life by wrapping my experience in “spiritual” language. I use words like steadfast, faithful, or perseverance instead of fearful, lazy, or complacent. When we do this, we close ourselves off to the opportunity for God to transition us into new seasons of our life.
- James 1:3 says, “the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
- Many of the great moments of breakthrough in Scripture were ones in which God would call a person to transition in to something entirely new. Abraham, Moses, David, and Jonah are but a few examples of such people. They would face unknown territory, unknown people, and unknown experiences that would test their dependence on God. These experiences would force them to rely on God’s provision and not their own strength and wisdom. These are the seasons that put our faith through the furnace. We’re challenged to go when the fear in our minds says stay.
- For us this can play out in many different ways. Maybe for some it’s the comfortable job we’re feeling led to leave to follow a call into a new direction. Maybe for some it’s going back to school to pursue that passion that you once had but over time has taken a back seat to the pressures of life. Whatever it may be, all of us will one day be in a season where God allows the place where we are to become so unbearable that we’re willing to embrace the pain of change over enduring the pain of complacency. And taking that step of obedience is when we will begin to find a satisfaction in our hearts that only comes from letting go of our “comfortable misery” to embrace “uncomfortable joy”.