I recently had a fascinating conversation with a gentleman who told me they were afraid of heights. Naturally, I assumed this translated to a fear of all activities involving heights. But oh no, this person was a certified pilot and consummate sky diver. It goes without saying, I was impressed by his ability to confront the very thing he was afraid of!
So this got me thinking about comfort zones—those warm familiar places where we exist in an anxiety-neutral state. Yet what’s wrong with being comfortable? Must we always be growing and pushing the boundaries of what we know, now?
For me, stepping out of my comfort zone is about overcoming fear.
… and the Bible tells me over and over again: Do not fear …
because fear challenges my faith in God … and without faith it is impossible to please God.
Here’s the truth: faith offends the stationary; it challenges the status quo. On the contrary, fear keeps us stuck in neutral, neither moving forwards or backwards.
It takes courage to venture into unknown territory. Heck, who wants to leave the convenience and familiarity of what they know to start something totally new, totally uncharacteristic, and possibly for less money and notoriety?
Here’s the other truth: faith and fear cannot coexist. Fear contradicts God’s promise to be with us no matter what:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God (Isaiah 41:10 )
So when challenged to go beyond my “don’t-push-me zone,” I can trust and believe that just like last time, grace will see me through. I have the assurance that Jehovah did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).
How do you assess your current comfort level? When did you last “step out of the boat?”