Live

Comfortably Close

Loose-fitting T-shirt? Check. Comfy black stretchy yoga pants? Check. Barefeet? Check. Perfect temperature? Check. Diet Dr. Pepper within reach? Check. Recliner engaged? Check.

Uh, yes please. Epitome of comfort. I want to go to there.

 Ahhhh… I love to be comfortable.  I am gonna take a guess that you do too. Take a moment to think about when you are most comfortable… Where are you? What are you wearing? What makes you comfortable? It is an INCREDIBLE feeling. What more could we ask for?

Believe it or not, we CAN ask for more… We can ask for God to make us uncomfortable. But that is really, really hard for us (ok, me) to swallow. Seriously, just the THOUGHT of being uncomfortable on purpose makes my stomach flop. Every inch of my flesh screams… Bu..Bu…But… Nooooo!!! I don’t wanna! (Insert two-year-old stomping tantrum here.) If I am comfortable, I would love nothing more than to stay like that—for as long as possible.

But staying comfortable sometimes leads to complacency. If we are comfortable and we don’t NEED anything else, why would we seek the Lord? We have it all handled and we feel fine right where we are. Pshaw. TOO. EASY.

A while back, I blogged about praying for faith like Abraham.  (Read the post “No More Cornflakes here for the full story.) This concept of praying to be uncomfortable is just as challenging as requesting faith as strong as Abraham. But when we are uncomfortable, whether that be physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritual… THAT then when we have the greatest opportunity to be closest to God.

 When we are uncomfortable… we realize our weaknesses.

When we are uncomfortable… we seek the Lord more than before.

When we are uncomfortable… we understand God’s goodness and faithfulness at a deeper level.

When we are uncomfortable… we have an opportunity to glorify God.

Think about folks you might know who have answered an uncomfortable call to be obedient to Christ. I am sure that most missionaries, ministers or Christians don’t go where the Lord has called them expecting to be comfortable. (Although that would be a pretty sweet perk. And motivating.) But when we become uncomfortable—we discover that we can be oh-so-comfortably close to Christ.

Confession:  Sometimes, (ok, a lot of the time) I am uncomfortable in my role as a minister. As a writer. As an army wife. As a speaker. But it is in those moments when I feel closest to God.

When was the last time you were uncomfortable? What did God do for you in that season? I would LOVE to hear about it. Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.

Do you have the courage to pray for God to make you uncomfortable? Drop what you are doing right now and pray: “Lord… Please overcome my flesh-goal of maintaining comfort, and if it is Your Will, make me uncomfortable for Your Glory.” 

You don’t have to sell everything you own and move overseas. (Unless of course He tells you to.)  Comfort levels differ for everyone. Perhaps your level of comfort will simply be asking the cashier how you can pray for them today. Or maybe it is helping out a neighbor who is, uh, less than cooperative. Consider any opportunities that God might be calling you to step out and be uncomfortable.

One thing is for certain—no matter how uncomfortable The Call might make us or how far it takes us from our recliner, yoga pants and Diet Dr. Pepper… If we answer our call, it can make us more comfortably close to Christ than ever before.

Comforted by being uncomfortable,
SGK

“For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.” –Matthew 11:30 (AMP)

Categories: adventure, attitude, call, Christ, Comfort, dependence, glory, God, life, Live | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Bad things. Good People. Great God.

I have heard this phrase in many conversations. I have witnessed it on Facebook statuses. I have even seen it on a billboard.

“Why do bad things happen to good people?”

That is a good question. And a tough one at that. I’m not gonna get all theological on you today (my brain isn’t quite up for that level of discussion) but I think that “Bad things” happen to “Good people” due to sin.

I don’t mean those folks who experience the “bad thing” have sinned. I mean, they have sinned… Shoot, we all have… but God doesn’t PUNISH us for things we do. That is what the cross is for. “Bad things” happen because we live in a fallen world. I would like to think that if Adam and Eve hadn’t messed it up for the rest of us, we wouldn’t have to deal with things like pain, sickness, loss, death, betrayal.

But let’s be honest. If it wasn’t Adam and Eve, I’m sure somebody else would have come along 15 seconds later and jacked it up for us. Sigh. Isn’t human nature (and Satan) frustrating?!!

Anyways, bad things happen to good people in this life. I’m willing to bet you are sitting there nodding your head thinking “Tell me about it, sista.”

But here’s the good news… Even though bad things happen to good people, we have a great God. The other night during prayer week at church, we were briefly looking at Job chapter 38. God is reminding Job that HE is bigger. HE is the creator. He is THE ONE.

As I sat there and mediated, God gave me these words:

“Only when we start from the bottom of the valley can we truly appreciate the mountaintop. When we experience how bad it can be, we can know how great God IS. He is above it all.” 

In essence, we have to go through the crappy (pardon my French) parts of life to TRULY experience the fullness of God’s love. Otherwise, what kind of heaven would we have to look forward to??

When your path seems uncertain... Know that the God of Love and Peace is guiding your footsteps!

In the last few months, I have encountered several good people going through some pretty “bad things” in life. My beloved boss and mentor dealing with the loss of her husband’s grandmother while BOTH of her parents battle cancer. A soldier who lost his wife and daughter, now a single father to his 11-year-old son. A close friend struggling an illness. Another friend questioning her purpose in life.

We’ve all been there. I don’t know where you find yourself today. Are you in the midst of a “bad thing?” Or coming out of it? Or perhaps facing it soon? Take heart. We have SUCH an incredible promise of a future world with no pain or heartache. And while we walk through our current “bad things,” God is walking with us. Daily. Know that while bad things might happen to good people… we can rely on an incredibly GREAT God.

Thankful to worship a kind, loving, merciful God,
SGK

“I’m thanking you, God, out loud in the streets, singing your praises in town and country. The deeper your love, the higher it goes; every cloud is a flag to your faithfulness.” –Psalm 57:9 (MSG) 

Have you ever been through a “bad thing?” How did God see you through? (Or if you are going through a “bad thing” right now, leave a comment here and I will pray for you. Or you can email me via sharita{dot}knobloch{at}gmail{dot}com.)

Categories: affirmation, challenge, Christ, cross, death, faith, God, Goodness, life, Live, mercy, pain, promises | Tags: , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Don’t just say it… LIVE IT!

I am terrible at saying “No.” Anybody out there with me on that one? (If you say “yes” because you can’t say no, then yes, you are in that group…)

Honestly, I have gotten a little bit better at saying no over the years, thanks to the spiritual growth I have experienced. When it comes to big life decisions, I at least usually stop for a breath before I blurt out the word “YES.” And since getting married and becoming an army wife, I think twice about agreeing to excessive commitments that might interfere with the minimal hubby time that could end up on the calendar…

But if there is one thing I am worse at than saying no, it is changing a yes to no. Those are some awkward moments when I have to de-commit myself to something. Fortunately, I don’t have to do that very often… but when I do… YIKES. (Insert awkward moment here.)

As a birthday present, my beloved boss Kelli gave me a copy of Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts.” I am trying to read it slowly so I can fully absorb the richness that is woven throughout the pages of this book. I always thought I was a person filled with gratitude… but lately, in my “YES” excitement, I started to wonder.

To learn more about this awesome book, check
out One Thousand Gifts.com.

I came across a quote last night in her book that REALLY struck me: “If I’m ruthlessly honest, I may have said yes to God, yes to Christianity but really I have lived the no.” Oh dang. This sounded familiar to me.

For the most part, I am an optimistic, upbeat and enthusiastic person (if you haven’t noticed the excessive exclamation points throughout my blog posts.) I have done a lot of things that some people might call crazy if they didn’t know my God (master’s degree, call to ministry, marrying into the military.) But the quote about saying yes but living the no really struck my heart.

Saying YES to God and living the YES are two different things. I can say YES to Him all day long at work, throughout my blog and personal ministry… but its those times when I’m struggling or am about to blow a gasket per army “logic” that I stop living the YES and transition to living more of a “maybe” or even a straight up no.

When I start to doubt/question or even start thinking I need to see to believe is the point of living the no. But here’s the thing– God doesn’t want me to live the NO. I don’t want to live the NO. But The Enemy does. Enter stage left the sin of ingratitude. Sigh.

Here’s the awesome part… by simply being aware of whether or not we are living the yes or no can help us to pray to live a life of YES.

Have you said yes to God? How about Christianity? If not, take a few moments to pray and invite Jesus into your heart.

If you have already said yes to God, let’s live a life of yes. With this constant answer YES, there is no awkward moments when you try to back. You can’t back out– Because God has our back.

So don’t just say it… Live it!

SGK

 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. –Colossians 3:16


Categories: Ann Voskamp, God, gratitude, Live | Leave a comment

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