This is a guest post by Jenny Eskander, a self-described follower of Christ, fitness lover, Chicago bulls fanatic, graduate student, bookworm and coffee drinker galore. She is also a proud member of St. George Coptic Orthodox Church of Chicago. You can follow her on twitter, @Jskander. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
Comfort: ‘relief in affliction; consolation; solace; a state of ease and satisfaction of bodily wants’
Comfort. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Whether it’s mom and dad, the puppy that nuzzles you in bed, a great meal, an afternoon with friends, or a morning reading at the lake, comfort is something we all make sure to have. This idea of comfort plays a HUGE part in our society and it’s been on my heart for some time now.
Being in a new place has shown me exactly how much I rely on this comfort factor. Here I am, miles away from the comfort of my home. I moved approximately 1,874 miles away from home to pursue a graduate degree, but all I can think about is Chicago. The food, the people, the lake, the lights, the music, the tourists, and the sweet sights of the city lit up at night. Chicago is a place of life, of love, of opportunity in every corner. Sometimes it takes traveling 1,874 miles away to really embrace these facts.
It feels like my comfort zone has been completely taken away. I want to briefly paint a picture for you on my canvas. In our life we go through stages and changes. For example, we transition to different levels in school: first high school, which seems so glamorous at the time, and then to college, where I believe reality starts to hit.
I don’t know about you, but for me college was where I defined myself. Someone once asked me what I wanted to be known for. Woah! Stop and think about that for a moment. What if tomorrow was the day God chose to take your life? Would you feel accomplished? Successful? Did you procrastinate the day before?
Do I really want the moment the Lord comes back here for me to be while I am complaining about not finishing a project for work in time or not studying enough for that exam? How about the fact if that was the moment God chose for you to enter into His kingdom that all those petty things would not matter five minutes later? You are given one life on this earth. You see I believe that we live TOO comfortably. Nice cars, nice clothes, nice things, everywhere! Don’t get me wrong, I have nice things, I am blessed and I know this. But I know that I fixate on them too much.
To me, being a Christian means being a little bit UNCOMFORTABLE on this earth. God never said it would be easy. In fact, we are not meant to be fixated on these things.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the father is not in them.” (1 John 2:15)
Maybe it’s time for us to stop living so comfortably! Try to give something up that you feel like you can’t live without. Fasting is more than a dietary change.
Being in this new place has put me in an ultimate uncomfortable spot. If you know me at all you know that I love people. I love to be around them, to comfort them, to make them laugh, anything to do with them. God knows this too. Our omniscient God led me to this place. It is all part of His great plan. I am a servant to Him, trying to live my life covered in love and I pray that we can all live like this. It’s not easy, but no one said it would be. I am out of my comfort zone completely and it has been very hard.
But 2 Corinthians 1:4 states, “…who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” I know Jesus protects me and I know my comfortable life lies in heaven with our Father.
Know this: The world will judge us, friends will abandon us, and Satan will attack us mercilessly. But none of that matters once you've felt the presence of Christ. He's worth it. So often though we stumble because we've changed the idea of the presence of Christ. I think we get caught up and forget that HE WANTS US just as we want Him. Anywhere! Now!
You don't have to be in the church to experience the King. His love stays the same. One thing always remains and that IS the unfailing and endless love he provides. May we all love this way, for this is what we were MADE TO DO! To love and to be loved, those are His greatest commandments to us.
I challenge you to reflect on this idea. Are you living too comfortably? Playing it too safe? What can you do, without putting yourself in immediate harm or danger, to determine this?