On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. Acts 8:1-5
When is the last time you were in a situation that made you very uncomfortable? Has God ever asked you to move out of your comfort zone and do something you never thought you’d be able to do or want to do? Oftentimes, that’s when He’s really working on our hearts and in our faith journey, when He asks us to step out of our normal realm of everything is hunky dory and do something scary, out of the ordinary, or makes the hair on our arms stand up.
Going to Honduras in 1998 after just graduating from High School was definitely one of those “out of my comfort zone plans” that God called me to take part in. At first I thought it was going to be like going to Montreat or Great Escape but after being in the country for about 2 seconds I realized, “we aren’t in Kansas anymore.” During this trip, the Lord called me away from nearly every comfort zone I had – sleeping in places where I normally wouldn’t even enter, eating foods that I typically wouldn’t eat, and engaging with folks who didn’t speak my language. Everything about the trip caused me to reach out to God and draw closer to Him. Isn’t that usually how it works friends? He calls us away from our normal lives and leads us down the unfamiliar path, which causes us to hold tight to Him and typically grow in our faith as well. Along the way we may even help to spread the Gospel to others as well. That is exactly what happened on that Honduras trip. I grew in faith, we were able to spread God’s love to our brothers and sisters in Honduras and we helped to establish a summer Mission Trip that has continued ever since. Praise the Lord for calling us out of our comfort zones!
Father God so many times you use uncomfortable situations to draw us closer to You and also to spread Your Good News. Father God grant us the courage to trust in You and rely on You during these often scary and unpredictable times. Help us to be Your people. Amen.