How many times have we passed someone in the hallway, or at work and not talked to people? You know their name-maybe- and you have only talked to them once or twice. How often do we think about all the things that we would do if not for… whatever reason? Maybe that person that you pass in the hallway is struggling with addictions. You may never know because maybe God is telling you to talk to them but you are afraid of what others might think, or you are nervous because they act strange. That woman or man could become your best friend…only we are hesitant about getting to know them.
They are just people in the background. How could you possibly help them? Perhaps that man is addicted to drugs, and doesn’t know Christ as Saviour. The woman at the candy machine is suffering from domestic abuse and is struggling with suicide. You could be the only person able to help them, and you won’t talk to them. In order to talk to these people, you may have to step out of your comfort zone- have awkward silences, suspicious looks, a lot of ‘umm… so…..’.
The Bible is often like that. It is not little bedtime stories where there is always a happy ending. No. The Bible is full of gory stories where, like in one story, as a man is leading his family out of a city, his wife looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt. That seems very unusual. The Bible makes us uncomfortable, it makes us feel awkward. But WE STILL READ IT!!! Just because the Bible makes us uncomfortable doesn’t mean we don’t read it and avoid deep, God-awesomeness conversations with people we don’t even know. (yes, I have had deep, God-level awesomeness conversations with people I don’t know) God is always telling us to step out of our comfort zones and help people.
Another comfort-zone related topic is trials. You just went through an extremely hard time, and you are still coping. You pray and beg God for comfort every day. You ask God, “Why? What did I do to deserve this? I know you’ve got some almighty plan, but why does it involve me getting hurt?” Maybe that person in the hallway won’t talk to people because he doesn’t trust them, or they know others just don’t understand. You might just have gone through something similar, and know what it feels like. They might be led to Christ, or they might find comfort in the fact that they aren’t alone, and you suffered the same thing. Bad things that happen to you aren’t always God’s way of punishing us.
When I struggle, I think of the story of Job. Satan told God that if Job suffered, Job would curse God to His face. But God knew what would happen. In the end, Job received more than he had before, and still had his love for God. With God, even though we struggle, and have really awkward conversations with people, it is for His divine purpose. You have a purpose. I have a purpose. How will we know our purpose is if we don’t pray, talk to people, and jump way out of our comfort zones. You can help people. Pray to God-“God, I know you’ve got a very divine and holy purpose for my life-and I pray that you use my life for your purposes.”
A good movie that talks about this topic is, To Save A Life. The guy steps unbelievably out of his “anti-uncomfortable bubble” and literally saves a life. Maybe someone has wronged you, and one day you feel a little nudge inside your heart that tells you to talk to them, and you’re like, “God, are you ‘for cereal’ i ain’t talkin’ to them. They hurt my feelings.” But, since God wants you to, you say, “Bobby Joe, I just want you to know, I forgive you for what you did to me.”
Now, they might punch you in the face. ( I hope not. That is not very probable) Or, they could say, “Thank you. I have felt so bad, and I wanted to apologize, I just didn’t know how. I have really thought about it. And I am sorry.” That would be so God-awesome wouldn’t it? And it was all because you were willing to do what God said and deactivate your little bubble. (Apologies are not always to be expected. The person may look at you funny. The example was just that, an example)
God is not out to get you. And if you don’t have the courage, pray. If you still don’t feel brave enough, God won’t smite you. (I hope) He loves you, and knows that you can’t always face people. Remember: God-awesomeness, anti-uncomfortable bubbles, and courage. Maybe you don’t want to talk to that girl in the hallway, because you don’t know what to say. A great starter is, “Sorry…what’s your name?” You never know what just might happen.