Outside the box
Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.
Warrior Moms, recently, God asked me to step outside of the box. I didn’t want to because it made me feel uncomfortable, but God assured me that I would need to “get used to it.” It’s funny that God didn’t assure me that “it would be okay,” rather, He assured me that I would need to “get used to it.” As a former recovering “argue with God until you lose” type of person, I decided to obey and save myself some grief. I knew that whatever He asked me to do, and whatever discomfort I suffered as a result would still be a million times better than the price of disobedience. I obeyed.
As a result, I got some weird looks. I got silent glares of “you are not fitting in around here,” I got snubbed, and treated badly by a few people. For the most part, I was welcomed by about 80% of the people. Why then, was I focusing on my 20% disapproval rating? I guess because I’m human. I knew not to throw myself down in my 20% pile of disapproval mud and roll around in it and cry, but I did analyze the experience. For one, I thought it was really interesting that even my own self gave God a weird look when He initially asked me to do what I didn’t want to do. Also, I gave God the exact same rude look that others soon gave me, for simply doing what God asked me to do!
I realized that it’s human nature to just want to stay in the box. My initial look to God affirmed that I wanted to stay inside my comfortable box, and the looks from others confirmed the fact that they wanted me to stay inside the box too. Wow! No wonder we all like our comfort zones; they are comfortable, after all! On my walk with God, I’m realizing something: as soon as I get comfortable, He asks me to take a step out of my comfort zone! That’s God for ya, always wanting us to grow and mature, and develop and impact others in new ways. Impacting others in new ways means that we don’t get to continue to do things the same ‘ol way.
Recently my son, Jacob, who happens to be profoundly deaf but who has a cochlear implant, which enables him to hear (though not perfectly), started middle school. Not wanting to baby him and have big meetings with his teachers like I had done for years in elementary school, I sent him on the way. I hoped that he was ready to be his own advocate, fight his own battles, and be okay.
Well, the first week or two of middle school is a difficult transition for normal hearing kids, so I shouldn’t have been shocked when Jacob had the same type of adjustment issues as well as some hearing difficulties. Every night we talked for an hour or two (most nights with some tears) about how difficult things were as well as how to go about handling those difficulties in victorious ways. It broke my heart for him. I wanted it to all go away. I wanted him to be a normal hearing kid without an implant on his right side, without the struggle. But, I had to allow him to endure it, to grow, mature, develop, depend on and talk to God, and impact others in positive ways. We prayed and talked to God about it. I continued to pray and talk to God about it as I watched Jacob with his implant, his glasses, carrying his big book bag, wearing his polo shirt and shorts, and sporting his red, blue and white tennis shoes walk down the street towards the bus-stop one morning. I stood at the driveway and prayed for God to help him and to speak to his heart, empowering him, giving him courage and a steadfast spirit, despite his difficulties. Jacob will never be one of those kids who blends into the background of this hearing world. His implant and his difficulties force him to live and think outside the box. He has no choice. He was born outside the box because he was born profoundly deaf.
I was recently reminded that God wants the same for us. When we were born again, we were forced outside the box of this world. As Christians, we can sometimes get real comfortable where we are, creating new boxes in which we blend into the Christian background box at our church, in our communities, at our workplace. God recently reminded me that there will be many temptations to fit into boxes. If we get pushed out of one, we then have a tendency to automatically start to build new boxes so that we can get comfortable again, and fast!
God reminded me that I should not seek to fit into boxes as much as I should seek to do His will, despite my current box, or someone else’s current box in which they think I should fit. Boxes be gone! Why is it human nature to want to fit into a box, and want others to fit into boxes as well? It’s simply just more comfortable there. Jesus did not come to seek comfort in this life; He came to save the lost. When I find that I feel lost outside the box, Good. I must be right where God wants me. I was recently reminded that whatever He asks me to do, and whatever discomfort I suffer as a result will still be a million times better that the price of disobedience.
I will obey outside the box.
Warrior Moms Unite!™
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.