Tuesday, January 11

Snow Cones and Comfort Zones

Thus he brought them to the border of his holy land, to the hill country his right hand had taken. --Psalm 78:54

Over the weekend we went to Idaho to celebrate a friend's wedding. The National Weather Service had been predicting snow for a number of weeks prior to our trip. To this southern Californian, snow is something of a foreign concept. That's not to say that I haven't seen snow--I've eaten snow cones at the beach, and I've ridden the bobsleds at Disneyland.

In preparation for the trip, we braved the after-Christmas sales at the mall to find long overcoats with liners and hoods. We searched out a sweater for my husband to wear. (I kid you not--up until 2 weeks ago his wardrobe contained nary a thread of wool, let along much of anything with long sleeves!) I'm happy to say our shopping efforts paid off. It was plenty cold in Idaho-- that is, by San Diego standards-- but we were fortunate enough to not get any snow.

When we stepped off the plane back in CA, we made the typical "nice place to visit but..." remarks among ourselves. It is hard to imagine myself living anywhere else. Southern California is my home, and San Diego county is quickly becoming my preferred place for long-time residency. I like it here and it feels comfortable to me.

Sometimes in life, for any variety of reasons, God asks us to visit or even move to places that lie outside the borders of our comfort zones. For some college students, that may mean sitting through a chapter of Darwin's theories as part of your biology course requirement. If you're in the working world, you may find yourself around people whose lifestyles directly contrast those of Christians. Maybe going beyond your comfort zones involves telling your unsaved family members about your decision to become a Christian.

To take a leap of faith and break out of your comfort zones doesn't mean you need to remain uncomfortable in the new place. When God takes us to new places, he never leaves us out in the cold to fend for ourselves. If you feel God leading you somewhere new, spend time asking him to prepare you for the trip! Beef up your spiritual wardrobe. You may have the armor of God all polished and ready to go, but have you weather-proofed it?

Above all, keep in mind that God is with you in every and all circumstances. Let "he who has the course of [your] life direct [your] sail" as Shakespeare would say. When the familiarity of the borders of your comfort zone are nowhere to be seen, remember that God is present. He goes before you and alongside you. Nothing is out of reach for him and there is nowhere he hasn't already been. I have seen time and again how he has prepared me sufficiently for even the harshest climate. He has kept me safe and comfortable, even when outside my self-defined comfort zone.

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