By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service
CLAREMORE, OK (ANS – August 29, 2015) — “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go”—Joshua 1:9 (NIV).
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there.” When I saw this quote posted on a friend’s Facebook page, I had to share it with others. Curious, I googled the quote to discover the author of the statement. Although many have repeated it, the original source is unknown.
We’ve all seen similar inspirational quotes encouraging us to get out of our routines and do something we normally wouldn’t do. While it’s sometimes difficult to push the boundaries of our comfort zones, when we do take that step, we often wonder why it took us so long to cross that barrier.
So, what is a “comfort zone” exactly? It’s our tendency to get comfortable with the familiar and our daily routines. It’s a place or situation where we feel safe or at ease and without stress.
Examples abound in the Bible of those who left their comfort zone in obedience to God’s calling. Abraham struck out for an unknown land, leaving family and friends behind because God had called him to do so. Moses definitely left his comfort zone behind when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt into the Promised Land.
Ten years ago this month, I obeyed God and moved from a small northeastern Oklahoma community, where I’d lived for more than 30 years, to a city approximately 80 miles southwest. Before relocating, I could count on one hand the number of people I knew in my new place of residence.
It was a leap of faith for someone like me who had always played it safe. However, if I hadn’t obeyed and left my comfort zone, I would never have experienced a trip to the Holy Land or participated in overseas mission trips.
Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Recently, two members of my Sunday school class, along with another Christian, traveled to Uganda to teach the people there how to drill their own water wells to save the villagers thousands of dollars. About two years ago, God placed on Tom Varner’s heart a desire to build a drill for the Ugandans. Tom set about with a friend to construct the tool needed to accomplish the goal.
With financial assistance from members of our class, Tom and his friend, Billy Helton, finished the drill bit and shipped it to Uganda. Along with Jerry Smith, a pastor and missionary to Uganda, the three spent eight days teaching the Ugandans how to use the drill to locate water.
When Tom obeyed God, he had no idea where it would lead. But something grew out of that obedience—and it will continue to multiply for generations to follow—all because one person had the courage to step outside his comfort zone.
Photo: Carol Round
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