Comfort Doesn’t Equal Success

Hello my dears,

So after my last post, I thought I’d be back quickly but instead my schedule picked up and I have been running around ever since. Quick recap of life in the jobless world: several more applications and resumes have gone out (and by several, I mean I’ve lost count), but I haven’t had any call-backs or responses. It’s a bit frustrating but frankly, that means that I’m still on the brink of God’s plan for my life, and there is a great deal of excitement in that. Joy joy joy! (And I’m not even being sarcastic).

I’ve said it before, and I firmly believe it. There is a reason the Lord is bringing me through this very restful season in my life. In fact I can already tell you so many of the benefits from it. I’ve obviously been able to recalibrate and develop healthier lifestyle habits (spiritually and physically), but there’s more. And quite honestly, I’m ashamed to say that it has taken this little activity in my life for me to reach this point in my journey.

Just a few weeks ago, I turned 24. Perhaps it’s the dyscalculia and the less-conventional way that my brain processes little details, but the moment any human reaches year 4 of being in a decade, that’s when become a little more seasoned. Let me illustrate it this way; when we are born, we are babies and toddlers all the way up to the age of 3, but then when we turn 4 things change. We’re more independent and capable and we become little kids instead of toddlers. Likewise, kids are pre-teens all the way through the age of 13, but then they reach 14, and the attitude comes…. you see what I mean, right?

Well at my birthday party, my grandmother asked me if I felt any older, and somewhat to my surprise I realized “yes, I do feel older”. Maybe it’s because I’ve finally finished school. But already, I’m noticing a difference in other ways too.

Recently, I rediscovered the joy of reading for pleasure. (Really I should say, I’ve fully discovered the joy of reading for the first time since AR points was a horrible way to make ADD, imaginative children learn to enjoy reading… another soapbox for another time). School is over, and fiction is taking it’s place! The series I’ve been reading is The Mark of The Lion by Francine Rivers, (one of my favorite authors), and I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it.

One of the main characters is absolutely brilliant. As a Christian in the early days of the church, she is taken out of her home in Jerusalem while it is being torn apart by Rome, and she ends up being sold as a slave to a prominent Roman family. Her entire family had perished but her faith is amazing. She has the most beautiful soul, (although the book describes her as not being beautiful on the outside), and everyone notices her soothing and peaceful presence. But the characteristic that stands out the most to me is how willing she is to serve. And not just to serve, but serve a pagan family of a country that destroyed her home.

I know it’s only a book, but this amazing illustration has  spoken volumes to me. The servant in the book serves because Christ instructed us to serve all types of people and submit to earthly authority. The benefit of the book is that the narrator changes perspectives and you see that the servant doesn’t just go through the motions, but she genuinely loves the family and shows it by serving them. Now, don’t worry, I won’t ruin the book for you. I’ll just highly suggest you read it 🙂

The story has totally called my attention to the parts of me that aren’t staying focused on Jesus and I’ve realized how not genuine I can be. I believe that becoming more mature requires you to be more thoughtful and intentional with your actions, and although it’s a simple concept, it truly is easier said than done.

So often, it can be very hard to be genuine and intentional about sharing when I don’t want to share, or being helpful when I just can’t wait until the task is over. Especially depending on what the circumstance is. But if I’m in a relationship with Christ, then it is His peace and joy that I’m running on, not my own fumes. I’ll take it a step further and say, even if I’m suffering it’s nothing He hasn’t already done because He suffered for me. So who am I to not be joyful in serving even when it’s not comfortable?

Phillipians 2:13 says “God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey Him”. If read wrong, then that can seem a little like brainwashing, especially to someone who isn’t in an ongoing relationship with Jesus. But it’s not, and actually it’s good news because it means He’s helping us when don’t feel like we have the strength to do it.

The title of this entry is Comfort Doesn’t Equal Success, because I had that exact same realization earlier this week. We live in society where we are told to do what makes us feel good, and when you feel good then you have been successful. The more comfortable you are, then the more successful you are. Now don’t read this the wrong way, because I believe the Lord wants us to be prosperous and to bless us in so many ways. However, comfort does not equal success because the Gospel, in it’s rawest form, calls us to live in a way that is the exact opposite of how the world tells us to live. In fact, it calls us to live very uncomfortably. Thankfully because of God’s grace, it becomes so peaceful and joyful to live that way, and that joy and peace surpasses the discomfort. If we are living in the way that Jesus taught us that is true success.

Please don’t take that as “sell all you own and live on nothing”, kind of uncomfortable. What I mean is different. In the Mark of Lion series, the servant serves her master knowing what she needs before she asks for it because she really loves her and is praying for her soul. It’s that kind of discomfort. It’s that discomfort we feel when, “the little voice in my head is telling me that I should do this, and I know I should, but I don’t want to or feel like it or reason x”. But the Lord calls us to live like His Son. And we all know Jesus lived a completely selfless life that wasn’t comfortable.

So needless to say, this season has brought a lot of teaching and learning about how to be a good servant. It’s been interesting because I’m beginning to see “serving” in a whole new light. One time an amazing friend of mine was at the house helping after the tornado in 2011, and she insisted on washing a huge load of dishes because she said, “I love washing the dishes. To me it’s therapeutic”. I hate washing dishes, so it really has stuck with me ever since. But now, I want to say “I love serving. To me it’s therapeutic”. And it is my hope that I can genuinely say that no matter what the duty is that God calls me to, because just as the verse says above, as I draw nearer to Him and pour out what I can, the more He enables me to do so. So it really is therapeutic, because I can become more filled with Him.

As I said in the first paragraph, I am so appreciative of this break. Yes, there are still times when Satan tries to attack with me thoughts such as, “what did I do wrong? why am I not good enough? is my resume messed up?” But I must step back and see all the fruit that has been produced in this season. I truly don’t think I could’ve worked to my best ability in any job, without what God has shown me about myself. So if any of you are unemployed and struggling to know why or are stressed about the lack of income or burden you may be on your parents, just give it to Him and see what He does. He truly does have it all under control.

Hopefully you got something good out of this and hopefully I’ll be back again soon,

Love y’all,

Chaslee

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