Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Expand (07/18/13)
- TITLE: Out of My Comfort Zone
By Pauline Carruthers
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“I can’t do it; It’s just not me! I don’t take risks. I like to know exactly what my income is and how far it has to stretch. It’s so far out of my comfort zone; it’s almost infinite!
So why were we giving away our furniture and the things we didn’t need? Why did we suddenly find ourselves with just a month to find a place to live, in a part of the country we didn’t know? And why had our income just dropped to a completely unacceptable zero? My mind wasn’t geared for the impossible!
“Throw off your reserve and widen your vision my child.”
God’s ’call’ had crept up on us almost unawares. I had doubts, but it had stealthily wrapped its tendrils around me and gently pulled me along, until I had come to believe that with Jesus leading, I could do anything. If God was in control then He would provide all that was needed. Yet I didn’t dare allow myself to think about the practicalities, until my mind had stretched just a little wider, to encompass at least some of the impossibilities, that by His grace, needed to be turned into possibilities!
We had begun our journey that day in beautiful spring sunshine as we headed for the annual five day Christian Conference, held in a quaint old seaside town on the coast. We were going ‘as a church’ and I was looking forward to fellowship with friends, seminars, the ‘Big Tent Meeting’s and times of fun on the beach with the kids. And, with trepidation, to the confirmation of what we believed was ’God’s call’ into mission. As we turned into the site the temperature had dropped, a strong wind was blowing in from the sea and light snowflakes were drifting down from a grey sky. By the time we had ’checked in’ and found our chalet, the light snow had turned into blizzard proportions. Our chalet was the one nearest the sea. I didn’t mind that, even though the wind was notoriously strong on that part of the coast! The chalet felt cold the first morning and we stepped out of bed into deep water. The pipes had burst! Who can fathom the mind of God? It was hardly the idyllic setting for confirming His call into mission.!
Yet, during those five days, as we had prayed and listened to missionaries sharing God’s call to them, it had become increasingly clear that we needed to ‘stretch our faith, broaden our horizons and act on what we believed was God’s will for us and our family. The bulletin board advertising mission needs snatched our attention, as we headed to the main tent for the ’Big Tent Meeting’. One particular advert had caught our eye and we had felt ’drawn to it’ and a friend from our church had encouraged us, as he shared that the Lord had put our names into his mind as he had looked at that same advert. We were planning to pray together after the meeting, when a jovial voice had boomed over the loudspeaker, announcing that the main tent was now ‘somewhere over the North Sea!
By the end of the five days and with the blessing of our church, we had made contact with the Mission and set a date for interview. Doubts had been set aside in favour of trusting faith, that if it was God’s will then He would remove all obstacles. The only obstacle I knew He wouldn’t be removing was that we were joining a ‘Faith Mission’ - no salary!
Raindrops glittering in a watery sun, tapped rhythmically against the windows of the village hall where our church met each Sunday morning. Tall trees growing outside the window bowed in a gentle breeze, silent and beautiful, immersed in the life-giving drench of a summer shower. Someone began praying for us; for my husband, David, for me and our three youngest children and for our two married daughters, who would undoubtedly miss us as we prepared for our move, first to the Bible College and then on to the British HQ of a Missionary organisation.
“Drench me in life-giving faith Lord. Broaden my horizons and increase my trust in You. I’m being stretched beyond my limits Lord! Yet I know in my heart that nothing is impossible for You.”
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