Do you like change? Some people say that they do; some people quickly respond that they don’t. I’d bet that most people don’t welcome a change that challenges their comfort zone. But, challenging those comfort zones is exactly what God does to grow us.
One of my comfort zones that was laid bare before God was my general tendency to be meticulous and careful as a person and as a time manager. You might say I was a “type A” personality. I’ve always had my schedule and my little routines so efficiently that you could set a clock by them. But God had a few new things He wanted to teach me. So He began working on my attitude and my time management. How did He do this? By a trial, a test: He sent my family to the mission ﬁeld. To Singapore, to be exact!
Little did I know when we landed in Singapore that my life was on the brink of major change. God wanted to move me toward His perfection (rather than perfectionism), which required transplanting me to an entirely different culture… a culture where we did not have a car! Can you imagine the trauma that was for someone who had lived in Los Angeles County where we basically lived in our cars between activities?
What having no car meant was hours spent every day standing on corners waiting for buses that were always late or never came at all. I also stood at corners waving for taxis that wouldn’t pull over because they were usually full. I stood in the rain with no transportation and no phone. My perfect little routines I had so carefully developed over the decades was completely knocked out. I hardly felt productive and efficient!
How did I respond to this new challenge and the trials associated with my situation? Not initially with grace, I can assure you! But, there in my time of “trial” the Lord taught me — I learned to be ﬂexible. I grew in patience as I became more and more accustomed to standing and waiting. A greater trust in God developed as I began to surrender—to yield—to His wisdom and purpose in my new living style.
I grew to rest in the Lord, to hand more and more of the undone things in my schedule to Him, to relinquish more and more things in my precious routine, to let Him have His perfect work in me. I experience a variety of tailor-made trials, a variety of ways of living, and a variety of ways of managing. I learned that millions of women live in a way I’d never experienced.
It’s truly amazing to notice how God breaks us out of what we are comfortable with and moves us beyond our current state. He uses trials and tests to help us face and overcome challenges so we can do even greater feats for Him. Yes, these lessons don’t come easily or cheaply. They develop and require fortitude, trust in God, and endurance until growth takes place. Then we have a better understanding of God’s power and how to use it and count on it in future trials.
A Verse to Recall:
“He who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
In her book Experiencing God’s Peace, Elizabeth George guides you through the book of Philippians and helps you discover God’s perfect and lasting peace in every area of your life – no matter how turbulent.