I am one who likes to bask in my comfort zone and hardly ever choose to leave it. Recently, when we came to Maryland for a Thanksgiving holiday visit, I was faced with being thrust out of my comfort zone suddenly and without notice, and I was not happy about the circumstances. Once again, my son’s regular caregiver quit taking care of his children to take a seasonal job, so the family was left without a babysitter. I was aware that this might happen, but in the back of my mind, I had told myself that we had reached thanksgiving and the young woman had no job yet, so I was probably going to just go home with my husband. Alas! On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, that all changed and I have been called upon to care for grandchildren again. Now, that is not what the comfort zone was. I have cared for them before and didn’t have too many problems. No, the comfort zone I left behind was one of knowing and planning and organizing and having things with me that I think I need for a long stay. Nevertheless, I said that I would stay and God has been working out things for me to get my meds that I need, warm clothing and foods. In fact, there is a bonus to this year’s stay. I get to go home on December 10th for a week while the family goes to visit Disneyworld. Hurray! I said I would take on the challenge of gathering meds here, layering clothes and purchasing special foods and God met me where I was, holding out His hand to hold me up.
I’m sure that if you are familiar with the Bible story about Peter walking on the water towards Jesus, you know that he had to have the courage to step out of the boat before the confidence came that he could walk on water. Courage generally seems to precede confidence in the Lord. Later in the same chapter, Peter took His eyes off Jesus and began to sink. When we are in the middle of hard circumstances, that is when we are compelled to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, regardless of what is going on around us. Once Peter got his eyes back on Jesus, he was okay again.
There are many Biblical examples of those who showed courage and received the confidence that they needed. Noah started building a boat when God directed him to do so. It seems that it took him almost six years to build the ark and there was no sign of rain. One pastor told us, and it made sense to me, that there had been no rain on the earth until the time of Noah. So, when God told Noah it was going to rain and flood the earth, Noah had no idea what to expect, but he dutifully and with courage followed God’s command. As a result of his faithfulness, Noah and his entire family were the only ones left on the earth. One of my favorite Bible stories is about Daniel and his friends being thrown into the fiery furnace. They had courage to be willing to sacrifice their lives for their belief in God and God took care of them IN the fire. Both Noah and Daniel exhibited extraordinary courage which resulted in more faith in God, both for themselves and those they encountered.
My point is that when Jesus gives you the opportunity to step out in faith, go ahead. He will meet you and hold you up if He has to and as a result your faith will grow. What a testimony you will have from just stepping out and letting courage precede confidence!