Recently, we spent a day at Disney's Animal Kingdom. We knew it would be hot.
And. It. Was. Hot.
But the magic of Disney was too exciting to miss. Usually in Florida, a quick rain shower will cool things down, but not on this day. After a few hours, I couldn't take it anymore! So, I did the only logical thing I could think of - went on a water ride. We got completely drenched, but it was refreshing, and renewed our endurance for the day.
Sometimes, life can feel like this. We find ourselves facing discomfort, feeling trapped in situations that don't seem to be working out. But if we look at these situations through the lens of faith, we might see that our discomfort is God's directive. His directive to leave discomfort for the refreshing and renewal He has for you.
We see this in the life of Jonah, he seemed to be surrounded by discomfort and chaos. He was first trapped in a raging storm, then found himself in the belly of a whale. He was grumpy, angry, stubborn, and seemed unhappy with the people he was called to serve. He kept pushing against what God asked of him, digging himself into a hole of defiance and discontentment.
After reluctantly doing what God asked of him, Jonah tried to rest under a tree. But the tree didn't give him the shade he desired. Instead, the leaves withered, leaving him in the scorching heat. I imagine Jonah shaking his fist to the heavens, shouting "why, God, have you left me to wither?!" But God wasn't punishing Jonah, He was sending him a wake-up call, a signal to heed God's instructions and sovereignty.
God often uses discomfort as a tool for transformation.
Just like Jonah, we sometimes feel uncomfortable in our current situations. Maybe you're feeling stagnant in your career, experiencing tension in relationships, or even feeling disconnected from your spiritual practices. You may feel frustrated with your finances or feel like you're in a constant loop of chaos. I'll challenge you today, what if these situations aren't meant to make you suffer, but to signal you to make a change? Your discomfort may be God's directive, prompting you to move into a new level of growth.
What Jonah never learned, was to see his discomfort as God's directive. Instead, he stayed in a physical, emotional, and spiritual uncomfortable place, discontent and angry with God and people. You're not meant to stay in a season of discomfort, no more than Jonah was meant to stay in the belly of the whale. You're not meant to see discomfort or chaos as normal. So, if you find yourself circling the same mountain of frustration, with the same issues arising, or battling the same giants, perhaps it's time to climb out of that whale's belly and step forward with boldness to a new level of growth. It's time to leave complacency behind and embrace God's invitation to growth and transformation.