By Trenton Glaser
Comfort is “the state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.” To me that sounds like quite a nice state to exist in. Comfort itself is wonderful, but like many of the things we have been given we tend to find it in the wrong place, twist it into something it’s not, and overuse it. Comfort can either be a time of growth or a time of stagnation. Continually putting yourself into the same stressful situation can have the same impact as any prolonged stay in the “comfort zone.” If I work out extremely hard without taking time to recover, my body will stagnate and be unwilling to do the work I desire. The same will happen if I choose to live stress-free. This holds true for many parts of life.
The hardest thing about comfort for me is that even when the answer is obvious, I often end up looking for it in the wrong places. In a weird way, my life is similar to that of the turkeys my family raises. When they are very young, there is always several propane heaters running in each ring of turkeys. If it is too cold in one of the houses, you would think the obvious answer would be to huddle underneath the heater. More often than not, they will run to the outside of the ring and huddle in groups. These groups start off small at first, but grow larger and larger until the turkeys on the outside climb over those in front of them in an effort to escape the cold. As more follow suite, the ones on the bottom begin to run out of air and the place that was so comforting before is now a trap, difficult to escape. The ones who were patient and waited beneath the heater eventually find comfort as the temperature slowly rises. It is easy for us to see the answer as we can clearly see the source of their comfort. But for many of us who do not quite see the answer, it is easier to find comfort in material things and the wrong people. It is not until you start to run out of air that you realize you are in the wrong place, and at that point you almost always need someone to pull you out.
“The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10). The instant gratification of many things in our daily lives is what pulls us away from the tower of God. For myself, it is often easier to sit behind a screen or seek affirmation from those around me than to sit down for a moment and speak to God.
This is kind of where the turkey analogy runs off the rails. But for those who sit under the heater and have found their comfort in God, they have peace. They do not have to wait too long for God to start pushing them to do more. It may not be sudden, but He will put opportunities in front of you to push past your current comfort zone. You may not see it at first, but God is very persistent. Abruptly or slowly, He will push those from their comfort into the cold to make them those who run to the uncomfortable, knowing that God will comfort them in the process. It may take a while and quite a bit of pushing from those who have already found the tower, but once it is found the problems above are no longer yours to solve.
Finding comfort in someone you cannot see is often hard, but once you find the tower you can quit worrying about running out of air.