Finding Comfort in Discomfort

Lately, I feel like I’m walking in mud. Things that used to be easy are hard. Results I expected aren’t coming. It’s easy to get frustrated and wonder if the effort is worth it.

Last night, I decided to dig into my file of old sermon notes.

I couldn’t see the title because of the binder clip, but the one on top grabbed my attention with point two. I’m pretty sure it’s from October of 2008.

To grow past your comfort, God will stop things from working that used to work.

That sure sounds familiar. So what next?

God will often redirect you in simple small ways, to ensure you are trusting in Him. Be careful not to do the familiar because it is easy for you.

The familiar? Isn’t that what we always seek? I know I do.

In new projects, I look for parallels or similarities to previous projects that were successful. I try to make the situation “familiar.” It eases the discomfort of the unknown.

Maybe that’s where I’m getting off track. Maybe I’m not receptive to new ideas because I’m stuck in the old. Maybe I’m resisting straying too far from the familiar.

Instead, maybe I need to find comfort in the discomfort.

Like the sore muscle that signals a good workout, the mental discomfort could be a sign of progress. Not something to be eliminated, but celebrated because of the growth and faith it represents.

What do you think? Should we seek the familiar within the new, or embrace the natural discomfort? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. Omar says

    Great post! I had a severe back injury about five years ago. I visited a doctor who recommended surgery immediately. He told me I would probably not run again, nor would I be able to perform the same level of physical activity. At the encouragement of a good friend, I sought a second opinion from a young sports doctor who was knew to Corpus Christi. He told me surgery was not an option. He promised to have me pain free in two months and walking “normal” in three. He kept his promise.
    While the first doctor prescribed a series of drugs and shots to manage the pain, the second doctor taught me a profound lesson which I carry with me today: If it hurts, that’s a good thing – it means your body, mostly your pain receptors, are working correctly. He explained that if he prescribed pain meds to me, I would essentially be tricking my body into thinking I was pain-free, leaving me vulnerable to severely damaging my spinal cord. He said when we eliminate pain through medication, we are basically negating our body’s own natural defense mechanism and warning system: Pain. He told me that the more pain I felt, the better. He explained that when I stopped feeling the pain, there would be the problem.
    I often think about this lesson. It taught me how to listen to my body, but it also taught me a valuable lesson about life. Sometimes our goals are not the easiest to achieve. Reaching them requires faith, patience and sometimes sacrifice, which sometimes hurts. But when things get rough, I always prioritize and pray, and that always eases some of the growing pains a new project or new direction throws my way. And even though sometimes I am forced to acquire new skills, ask for help or feel some pain, I know it’s all worth worth it. It’s all part of the path and the journey. When you stay on the right path, it all works out and that “pain” – which we all need to feel sometimes to make us work harder – goes away.

  2. says

    Very timely lesson. The sermon on Sunday was that God’s answers are yes, no and wait awhile. Waiting is a time to reaffirm our commitments and trust in the basic things we know and believe.

    If we get medals for being uncomfortable, mine should be a six foot trophy. I am walking through a new venture which challenges everything I believe about my skills. And yet, I know it takes perserverance to come out on the winning side.

    I like the thoughts that there is growth on the inside when we experience discomfort. We are stretching beyond the normal means and that is a good thing. I will learn to embrace my discomfort to find the purpose.

    There is a great song, “Lord don’t move this mountain, but give me the strength to climb”. I am singing that song, except I did wanted the mountain moved. Now I can ask for the strength to climb and build my character. New perspective, new hope.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Kendra Kinnison says

    @Omar – Thanks so much for sharing, and for adding the physical component. I can definitely see where that is true as well.

    @Pat – I’m with on asking God to move the mountain at the same time I was praying for strength. You’re right. We can ask him to build our character instead.

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