Thursday, January 30, 2014


I really like that word...uncomfortable. It speaks of real life and real love. It speaks of courage and triumpth of spirit.

Did you know that with wrinkles comes wisdom? I say this because it's taken me decades to realize how beautiful uncomfortable is.

I'm uncomfortable when my 12-year-old throws up twice before midnight (yes, he did). I silently ponder how long it will take the whole family to catch the tummy virus and get better. How many many hours of laundry and disinfecting and worrying about dehydration?

But then I stop and here for him, now. Stop pondering and disinfecting the floor and hug him already!

I'm uncomfortable when my 7-year-old displays the worst sportsmanship and competitiveness, for the tenth time in a week...and this is typical for her. What to do? How to heal the brokenness that makes her covet winning and despise losing?

I'm uncomfortable when someone calls and talks and talks, never giving me a moment to speak - even to cut in and say I have to go because my five year old needs wiped.

I'm uncomfortable when the van battery keeps going dead - just when we wanted to replace our clothes dryer and our garbage disposal.

I'm uncomfortable when the neighbor girl comes over, almost 12, and asks if she can stay to dinner and sleep over sometime, because she just loves being with us. (Yes to dinner, no to sleep over. Why, she asks.)

I'm uncomfortable when the neighbor boy comes over and acts like a bully...I want to shoo him home for good, rather than be understanding of his hard life of poverty and instability.

I'm uncomfortable when some people have a hole I just can't fill, and I have to say no.

We can chase after comfort and ease. It has an allure that's hard to resist. Sleek and tidy, you know?

But I'm learning that the more we chase comfort and ease, the further we get from God.

For God gets messy and he likes messy. He likes to meet us in the dirt and the tears and the angst. He likes it when we throw up our hands in despair and don't know what to do. Because then we'll listen to Him.

When I got married I never fathomed that the happy couple posing for wedding pictures would one day, 17 months later, be in the maternity ward delivering a baby who had already passed away, and that in the next months I would want to meet my Maker, rather than wait for this or that thing I just had to do before death. My innocence was gone.

When I finally held a living baby all my own 15 months later, I never fathomed that in less than a decade he would be diagnosed with serious problems that would bring me to my knees daily.

I had a baby at age 42, and despite a difficult pregnancy and an emergency C-section - the umbilical cord wrapped around her twice and knotted - she came out alive and healthy. Afterwards, could I fathom that 2.5 years later they would tell me she had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis...that every time I saw her misshapen, swollen knees, I would want to cry?

Not a day goes by that I'm not uncomfortable for some reason, whether physical, mental, or spiritual. But now, all these years later, I don't want to meet my Maker until my work here is done. Take my life and let me labor for you here, my King. My Jesus.

It has taken so long for me to feel that, much less utter it in prayer.

Not a day goes by that I don't thank the Lord for His gracious blessings...mainly for the five messy blessings sharing my heart and home. I thank Him for the hard and the messy because they refine me and redeem my wrinkles and sags with a gentle and quiet spirit. The more I suffer, I more I give thanks. The more I give thanks, the more I perceive I have.

Messy is beautiful. Tidy is sterile. Uncomfortable is really living.

Uncomfortable is taking God at His Word and believing that when we lose our life, we gain it.

I've been talking to you about abject poverty this week and I know that's uncomfortable. I've asked you to sponsor a child and I know that's uncomfortable too. It's uncomfortable for me, doing the asking. But I push through and do it because I know the other side. I know the letters you'll write and receive and the love that'll swell in you - love you thought you could only feel for your own blood children.

We can't get to glorious unless we've known discomfort and walked through it - unless we've followed His lead. His discomfort on the Cross led to the ultimate Glory.

And when we do the hard, uncomfortable work of love in His name - we magnify his Glory. We magnify the beauty of the Cross...we tell its story. We live the Gospel.

Please embrace uncomfortable and live the Gospel today. Say yes? Provide Hope and Jesus, for just $38 a month? Thank you. Thank you for reading, my friends. Thank you for loving in Jesus' name.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I wrote a post as a response (can't figure out how to pingback):

Christine said...

Sandy, I love the song you posted so much. Have for a long time. My experiences always pass by my consciousness when I listen to it. Thank you.