Whenever I pray for a situation to change in my life I ask God to make me feel uncomfortable so that it is easier for me to move on or shift things in my life. It is really easy for me to decide that things need to change or that I need to alter my path when my life is uncomfortable and I’m not happy. I am not prepared for God to push me to change things when my life is rather cosy and I am content.
I learnt a little bit about Nehemiah and his story this Sunday and Nehemiah’s obedience and courage surprised me. If you don’t know much about Nehemiah, don’t stress because neither do I, but there was one aspect of who he was and his life that resonated with me.
Nehemiah was the cup bearer to the king of Persia, when Jerusalem was in ruins; Nehemiah asked the king if he could return to Jerusalem and restore the city. Why? God had called him to.
Now when I heard this piece of the story it struck a chord within me, because Nehemiah was in a really comfortable position in his life. I would imagine that being the cupbearer to the king had its perks. Instead he chose to leave that safe place and that position of security in order to follow what God was calling him to do. It would have been easier for Nehemiah to carry out God’s wishes if the king was an absolute pain in the backside and he was living in squalor. Instead Nehemiah chose to follow God, even though he knew he would be giving up the life of comfort that he had.
I had prayed to God for so many things, for a car, for renewed relationships, for finances, for a closer relationship with Him. I was praying for my life to get bolder and more fulfilling, but I wanted God to make my life uncomfortable so that it would be easier for me to do the hard work. After hearing Nehemiah’s leap of faith so to speak, I sat back and asked myself- Am I willing to put in the hard work and follow what God is calling me to, when I really don’t have to?
I think about it like gym. It would be easy for me to gym each and every day if someone brought the treadmill to me and put me on it. It’s a whole other mission for me to get my lazy butt off the couch and get in my car and drive all the way to that stupid treadmill. It is the same with God. If I am frustrated with my situation and I really need a moment of change, when I hear that pull within me telling me to follow His path, I have motivation to follow it and put in the work that it requires. However, if I am content and I am just going about my days rather peacefully and I feel that pull within me to follow the path that He wants for me. You best believe I will be a lot more reluctant to put in the work and I will do it with a really big sigh.
God had a bigger plan for Nehemiah, God saw Nehemiah as an incredible leader, as a man who would impact nations and restore His city. Can you imagine who Nehemiah would have been if he had chosen to stay comfortable? What baffles me each and every time I read about the multiple people that God utilized throughout history is that, they really were nothing special. They were so under- qualified and under ill- equipped that it is almost comical. God had seen something in them that requires far more wisdom than any human-being can comprehend, he saw their faith, their heart and the potential that their unique soul had. The next time that I am sitting on my cosy couch and God pulls me toward something that doesn’t necessarily look very easy; I will remember who he says I am. I will remember how he lifted Nehemiah’s life to new heights. I will remember that he can do the same with me, and you best believe I will be willing to get up off the couch.