Stepping out of One's Comfort Zone
"'Lord, if it's you,' Peter replied, 'tell me to come to you on the water.' 'Come,' he [Jesus] said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus."1
One of the best decisions I ever made in my life was also one of the scariest. I struggled with it for about three years. As a young man I felt a deep sense of God's call to full-time Christian ministry but knew that to be effective I would need to be adequately trained. For ministry I had no training whatsoever. I hadn't even been to high school. I was only 13 when my father made me quit school and go to work. As a teenager I attended technical college part time and became well trained as a carpenter and joiner (joiners make windows and doors and those kinds of things). I could build houses, but to get up in front of people and speak—forget it!
But the "Hound of Heaven" kept bugging me.
"You've got to be kidding, God," I argued. "You mean you want me to leave my home, my family, my friends, and my security to go overseas for training! Don't you know how insecure I am? I'm only a carpenter and you want me to do what—to step out of my security boat and walk on water!"
"Yes, that's correct," God said in His not too still small voice. "Did you forget that Peter was only a fisherman? And by the way, my Son, Jesus, was a carpenter."
"Okay, God," I finally said, "You win. I know what I have to do." I said this when I was flat on my back on a hospital bed following an accident I had on a construction site. For some of us we have to be hit over the head, as it were, by a four-by-four in order for God to get us to listen—I mean, really listen!
As quickly as I could I worked to save enough money for my one-way airfare to the U.S. and to get started in my first semester in college (providing I could find part-time work). I also had to be put on probation because I had never been to high school. All through Bible school, college and graduate school I worked part time to finance my education. This included working three jobs in the summer months when I drove a CTA passenger bus in Chicago during the morning and evening rush hours shifts, painted houses in the middle of the day, and worked as a janitor in a large church in the evenings and weekends.
Was it easy? Not really. But with a burning conviction that this is what I was meant to do, I was never without motivation to keep on keeping on. Plus, I was never without needed work, was able to pay all my bills—and passed every course.
And now, by the grace of God, here I am today—50+ years later—with the wonderful privilege of being able to reach around the world every day of the year with the saving gospel message of Jesus Christ. My life has never been more blessed or fulfilling.
How I thank God that he kept urging me to answer his call and say yes to him. After accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, stepping out of my comfort zone and going back to college to train for what I am doing today was the greatest (and about the scariest) decision of my life.
If you sense that God is calling you to step out of your comfort zone to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and/or to an area of service for him—be it in a voluntary or full-time capacity—I urge and encourage you to say yes to God today. It is a decision you will never regret and be thankful for all eternity.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank You that You call each one of us to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and therein receive your forgiveness for all our sins and Your gift of eternal life—and to serve You according to the gifts and talents You have given to each one of us. Please help me to hear Your call to me and give me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and say yes to You today. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Matthew 14:28-29 (NIV).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.