Tag Archives: discomfort

Feeling Uncomfortable in Church?

Do you ever feel like running for the door when the pastor starts preaching? This is a normal response. No offense pastors, but sometimes your teaching makes me want to cover my ears and stuff my face in a pillow. It’s not that your message is bad or poorly delivered. It’s quite the opposite. Your message speaks such truth into my conscience that I feel guilty and sometimes ashamed. I realize, sometimes for the first time, how much I have wronged God.

Almost every morning I put on glasses. As I’ve gotten older I’ve decided contacts really aren’t worth the two seconds it takes to put them in my eyes and certainly not worth the money most of the time. In my mad rush to get out the door, I often don’t properly clean my glasses, at least not in the way my dad recently instructed me to go about cleaning them. Before leaving the house the lenses seem perfectly clean. I rush out the door and as soon as the lenses catch a glimpse of sunlight I can see all the blemishes, all the impurities.

The same happens in church. Out in the real world of distraction we don’t notice the blemishes of sin until we sit down without distraction and take in the truth and examine our sin. Sin is an ugly thing. Like the smudges on my glasses it can blur the way we see things.

Fortunately we can take time to examine ourselves daily, reflect on where we have failed, and most importantly, revel in the fact that we are forgiven and reconciled. To examine ourselves is to shine the light of God’s word, His truths on our lives and let Him reveal where we have mis-stepped. This is not to cause shame, but to release the guilt through repentance.

To see the blemishes is to see the light, for in the darkness neither blemish nor beauty is seen. Would you rather live without seeing at all or live with seeing what can be made pure through the blood of Jesus?

Growing Pains

Aside from being one of my favorite childhood favorite TV shows, growing pains are no joke. Many times God allows us to be in uncomfortable, even painful circumstances to push us to grow. This stretching and strengthening exercise makes up your most emotionally and sometimes physically difficult times in life.

Looking at my parents’ lives I can see how much their marriage grew through their suffering during four years trying to adopt and years of caring for their ailing parents. God used each of these times to improve on their love for one another and for God himself. Seeing their growth gives me comfort in this season of life.

A friend and I were just talking recently about a time of suffering in her life. She described feeling small. I remember each day telling her she was still big, but it was hard for her to see her own strength. Now that a few years have passed she tells me she was always big, but she just couldn’t see it.

I have felt small during the last few weeks. I have thought about giving up, but it’s impossible to give up on life when God is at the center of it. He simply doesn’t stand for quitters of life. Like a parent he doesn’t always give the pouting child his full comforting attention during those moments of feeling small because he knows there’s something more to gain from our suffering and pain. He knows when watching from a distance is more helpful than immediately giving us comfort.

I am up at 4:00 a.m. writing this post because I am very uncomfortable in life right now. I have felt small, sad, angry, confused, even sick from the stress and pain of growing. When God woke me up at 3:30 this morning, even in my discomfort I felt things would be okay because this is just the feeling you get during the strengthening and refining process. I have witnessed many testimonies of the strength that comes from this pain, and it is worth it.

A loving God is not a God that gives us a life full of nothing but easy moments.

Please share your testimony of the growth and strength that came from your suffering.