Summer. Sheesh. It is a relatively chaotic time of year. This may be universal - surely it is - but I know it is for sure the case when you have three wee ones and piecing together a camp schedule so I can still go to work...and blog? There's a reason there is more silence than normal from me (in your inbox anyway)...summer is bananas over here!
Routine is something I find comfort in, and that is very shifty during the summer for us. This past few weeks especially. We had a trip (an AMAZING trip...Sky Ranch Family Camp in Colorado. Everyone should go. Just go. That's my plug.) and this trip was book-ended by company staying at our house. Company leaving our home two days before we left and then another group coming the day after we got back has led to less than normal routine. I am now on a quick trip with my husband for his work - which I am not working, so I have a little bit of breathing room...hence the typing (can I get a hallelujah?!) Summer, in general, follows this cadence; I don't want it to sound like I am complaining about the less routine element of summer and visitors and vacations, but it sure makes me look at routine and crave the comfort I find there...I'm illustrating something here. Don't miss it.
We, as a people, as believers, as the family of God...we often look longingly at something to give us comfort, or choose to stay in comfort - if we happen to feel it in a moment or situation - instead of seeing what God is calling us to move away from.
Our desire for comfort: it either keeps us from moving to the place He needs us, or keeps us from seeing the opportunity/blessing/preparation/gift we have in the very moment He has us in.
In my craving of (false) comfort in my circumstances, I find myself, in the summer, looking to the fall as "well that is when things will slow down, and become more routine... so I will be more comfortable, and then ____ (fill in the blank of all the things we say we will do when something changes to more comfortable in our lives). At the same time, I look at summer, in the fall, as "well that will be nice to not have alarm clocks and as rigid of a routine, then I will be able to ____ or finally ____". You see my point? You see the problem? And this may look different for different people in different seasons of life:
"When I accomplish...."
"When I finally....
"When I check this off my list..."
"If I keep this to myself..."
"If I just don't try this unknown thing..."
"If I hold tightly onto this gift..."
...then things will be or get more comfortable.
Y'all this is dangerous. This is how I all-too-often live my life: putting my comfort (or perceived future comfort) in my circumstances.
Looking toward future circumstances for this ultimate comfort is dangerous because it will fade, it will disappoint, it will fail to deliver. It will run dry trying to provide a true comfort...it cannot bring joy.
And the same is said for staying "comfortable" and the stifling effect that has: far too often we neglect our calling for the sake of comfort. For the comfort of this world accepting us. For a specific relationship and fear of making it less comfortable. For comfort in not worrying about saying the wrong thing or not quite all the right words. For comfort in what we can see and touch. For comfort in what we feel is predictable...
We do exactly the opposite of what Paul exclaimed, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes" (Rom 1:16). The way I act sometimes - the way I shy away from sharing truth to stay comfortable; the way I lean on my circumstances or changing of circumstances to bring me real comfort...well, that doesn't say what Paul is saying. It says the opposite. I am letting my flesh dictate my posture toward the gospel, and dare I say I am acting ashamed of it...
What ways are you staying comfortable? What are ways you are seeking comfort in circumstances that are to come? Don't get me wrong, comfort is a good thing. However, comfort can also be something the enemy uses to keep you luke warm, from sharing good news and from living in joyful obedience to the only One who is worthy and capable of carrying the burden of our comfort.
I don't want to miss finding comfort in His sovereignty and goodness by looking too far ahead, or wishing or hoping in a better circumstance or more comfort "when" or "if" something changes. Our comfort is in the only thing that doesn't change, always delivers and gives us a rock solid foundation that delivers joy: it is in Jesus.
I feel convicted to look at today...this moment. Even if it is uncomfortable in any way. Well really, ESPECIALLY when it is uncomfortable. Why does He have me here? How is His providential hand working in my life for His glory and where am I called to act? We miss so much by looking everywhere outside of our present moment for comfort when our true Comforter is holding us and guiding us in and through all of it.