We all have some form of comfort in our lives. Many times it is our home, our nest, the place we can relax and let all the cares of the day wash away.
If home is not a place of comfort, we search for ways to escape and find comfort, maybe at the home of a friend.
Some find ways to escape into comfort zones, such as drugs, alcohol, food, pornography, of their own making, especially when the storms around them rage and the waves look really scary.
A Day In The Life Of Jesus
There’s a familiar story about a day in the life of Jesus. We have all heard about parts of the day, but maybe we have never put together the entire day and it’s implications.
On this day, Jesus hears the news that his beloved cousin, John the Baptist, the one relative who supports his ministry and gets everything He is about, has been beheaded.
Jesus goes to a remote area to be alone and process his grief. Jesus doesn’t have a house to go to, so he seeks out a place in nature, a place of comfort and solitude.
However, thousands of people follow Him. We’re not talking a crowd of 300-500. We are talking more than 5,000 people. So much for being alone!
Steps Out of His Comfort Zone
Instead of taking time for Himself, He steps out of the place He longs to go for comfort and spends the day healing them. If that wasn’t enough, He feeds the 5,000 men and probably 10,000 women and children who were with them, with five loaves of bread and two fish.
After taking care of their comfort, He sends them and the disciples away so He can be finally get what is the one necessary element for His comfort—communication with His Father. He needs reassurance that God the Father has this entire plan for His life intact.
Disciples Comfort Zone Becomes Uncomfortable
While He’s getting His infusion of comfort, the disciples are being very uncomfortable trying to navigate a storm.
These are fishermen. They are very familiar with their boat. It is their comfort zone. They haven’t yet cried out for Jesus. They know they left Him back on shore.
Jesus knows they are in trouble, yet He leaves them to fight the raging storm throughout the night and into the next morning before He does anything about it. Then, He comes dancing across the stormy sea as if He is taking a stroll in the park.
He waits until the disciples are sure they can’t handle this storm, before He intervenes. He waits until 3 am, taking care of His own needs first, knowing they need to know they need Him., knowing they need to know their comfort zone has just become very uncomfortable without His presence.
The Storm Points To Their Need
They wouldn’t know He could rescue them, if there had been no storm and they were not alone.
When He comes walking to them on the water, which, by the way, is what they were about to drown in, Peter still is uncertain of who Jesus is.
Peter says, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”1
The storm over Peter’s comfort zone is still raging when Jesus answers, “Come.”
Peter is afraid of the wind and waves and isn’t sure this person is Jesus but, nonetheless he climbs over the side of the boat and walks on the stormy waters to Jesus.
Then, reality clicks in. Peter realizes what he’s doing! Walking on a raging sea is not his comfort zone. He panics, just like we all do when we are out of our comfort zone.
“But when he saw the strong wind and waves he was terrified and began to sink, ‘Save me, Lord!’ he shouted.”2
Jesus reaches out, grabs him and admonishes, “You have so little faith, why did you doubt Me.”3
The Disciples’ Realization
It’s not until they climb back in the boat that the winds stop. Then, the disciples have an aha moment, which really kind of seems like a duh moment.
“You really are the Son of God!”4
By recognizing this, they set up a realization of their own destiny. This guy they are following is the real deal. Each is probably thinking, “What does that mean for my life?”
Stepping Out of Comfort
Comfort is necessary. We have to establish some sense of well-being in our lives to move forward and accomplish whatever we were put here on earth to accomplish.
However, what about when God calls us to step out of our comfort zone, no matter how uncomfortable is seems at the time. Will we trust in Him to be our source of comfort when we leave everything we know?
Peter’s comfort zone was the boat. The raging sea was not a comfortable place to be. Yet, that’s what Peter requested and what Jesus called him to.
When Peter stepped out, immediately he second-guessed the decision and yet, Jesus was there to catch him.
Jesus knew His own needs and made sure they were taken care of. For the day in question, He set aside His needs until He could adequately meet them. Only after His needs were met by going to the correct place for comfort, God the Father, He took care of the disciples.
Walk On The Storms
He came to them at just the right time for them to get their breakthrough moment. Peter would always remember when Jesus calls to Him to step out of his comfort zone and into the storm, no matter what it looks like, Jesus will be there and will take care of him.
Remember this, Jesus walks on the stuff our storms are made of and calls us to do the same.
This entire day in the life of Jesus set up an incredible moment for His disciples where they recognize who He really is and what He’s all about. If Peter had stayed in the mode of trying to be safe in his comfort boat, the entire group would never have stepped into their destiny of carrying out the Great Commission.5
When we stay in our pockets of comfort that are counter to God’s best for us, it hinders our destiny.
What are you facing? What are you afraid of? What fear is holding you back from stepping out of your comfort zone into your destiny?
1 Matthew 14:28 NLT
2 Matthew 14:30 NLT
3 Matthew 14:31 NLT
4 Matthew 14: 33 NLT
5 Matthew 28:18-19 NLT
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.