I shifted my weight uncomfortably, the smile on my face unwavering.
“I’ll pray for you,” I said, placing my hand on her arm, hoping to somehow make up for my lack of action. The urge to pray for her in that moment was overwhelming, but I shoved it out of mind. She nodded and the silence became deafening. I readjusted the purse strap on my shoulder, glancing at the people milling around us.
“So, umm, I guess I’ll see you around.” The words lingered in the air as I walked away, each step in rhythm with my sinking heart. I’m sorry, Lord, I whispered as the distance between us grew larger. I just couldn’t do it. The guilt piled heavy. But, I added quickly, I promise I’ll pray for her this week!
And I did. I prayed every day that week, several times a day, for my friend and her delicate situation. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had missed an opportunity to bless my friend by praying for her right there in the church’s hallways.
It’s not often I feel strongly urged to do something like that. Many days I’m so busy rushing through life that there’s hardly any time to be still and listen to His small voice.
But when I do listen, He usually asks me to do something uncomfortable. And my guard immediately goes up.
- Tell that person next to you in the airplane what Jesus did in your life. But God—he’ll think I’m a weird religious nut.
- Help that mom with the two preschoolers put groceries in her car. But God—she’ll look at me funny and say, “I’m fine,” and I’ll be left feeling like an idiot.
- Give that employee a hug and invite her to church. Now that’s crossing a whole lot of lines that could get me in trouble with the company. You know that!
- Write about that uncomfortable conversation you had with your boss. God, if I do that, everyone will see how prideful I really am and no one will want to listen to me.
It seems God intentionally nudges me out of my comfort zone when I’d rather stay where I am. You’ve probably had similar experiences
And in that moment, we have a choice: we can trust that God will take care of us even in the scary situations, and choose to walk with Him in obedience,or we can run away in disobedience. As a tender Father, God allows us to make our own decision, but when we disobey, we miss out on the blessings He’s waiting to pour on us right in the midst of the discomfort:
- The privilege of leading someone to Christ
- The joy of putting a smile on someone’s face
- The thrill of being a conduit of God’s peace
- The opportunity to see a bad situation be used for good
God invites us to step into the unknown with Him and see Him do great things in and through our lives, if only we will trust and obey. And the scarier the situation is, the more triumphant the deliverance when God pulls through. As He always does.
Though we can’t go back and change situations in the past (like that hallway conversation with my friend), we can choose to trust and obey God today. And in doing so, we will experience great blessings now and to come. Because, as the hymn goes, “we’ll be happy in Jesus when we trust and obey.”