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As a kid my first love was baseball. My mom would argue it was her but that is neither here nor there…. My Dad, little brother, and I would constantly be in our backyard playing a demented game of catch. I say demented because every time we didn’t catch a ball, we would have to do ten push-ups. My dad made it incredibly difficult too… He would throw a ball high in the air in front of him and we would have to run and dive to catch the ball, but it didn’t end there. He would then throw it way over our heads! Now if you know nothing about catching a fly ball over your head there is one thing you should know… to catch the ball you can’t look at where you’re going… you can only look at the ball. Now this is a great drill when you have a lot of room, but we had a small fenced in back yard. I was so uncomfortable when he would throw it over my head because I thought I was going hit the fence and get really hurt. All that to say, I was doing push-ups all day long. This eventually taught me something about life… you only get better when you are uncomfortable.

Fake it ’till you make it

This notion applies to every aspect of our life.

Our work… I feel like the saying “fake it till you make it” applies to a lot of people in the workplace. A lot of us get thrown into things that we are not qualified for, but if we press through and start to learn and adapt, we get pretty good at something that once made us uncomfortable.

Our relationships… None of our relationships ever grow deeper if we never open up and become vulnerable with another person. Imagine our relationships with our spouses or partners if we never talked about what we are feeling, or our dreams for the future, or even how our days went. We would all be miserable! We only grow deeper with the people in our life if we are transparent with them and a lot of times that is an uncomfortable thing to do.

 Our faith… when we start to wrestle with Jesus about the tough things in life it makes our relationship with him stronger. Take this story out of Matthew 14 into account…

Jesus came toward them walking on the sea very early in the morning. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear.

27 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.”

29 He said, “Come.”

And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strength of the wind,[e] he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”  (Matthew 14:25-31)

Jesus asked Peter to step off the boat in faith and to walk on the water. Do you think Peter was comfortable stepping off the boat into a storm and walking on water? Absolutely not! This is proven when eventually the storm did get to him, and he started to doubt, but doubt just lets us know where we need to grow. Jesus asked Peter in verse 31 “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” A lot of people translate this as “the opposite of faith is doubt”, but that’s not true… The opposite of faith isn’t doubt but it is actually when you have everything figured out.  Madeleine L’Engle (yes, the author of “A Wrinkle in Time” look up her story if you have time) once said “the value of doubt is to keep you open to God’s revelations. If you don’t doubt, you don’t change.  If you have to have finite answers to infinite questions… you’re not gonna move.”

More Than Conquerors

Yes, I eventually got great at catching those tough overhead fly balls. I became comfortable knowing that I couldn’t see where I was going. I became comfortable only looking at the ball. Years later I asked my dad about it and said “that was a questionable parenting choice… we could’ve gotten seriously hurt if we hit that fence, and Mom would’ve put you six feet under real quick.” He responded and I saw our heavenly father in my earthly father in that moment. He said “Son, I never threw a ball you couldn’t catch.”

In Romans 8, it says that we are “more than conquerors”. This is what I want you to walk away with. When we stretch ourselves, we are without a doubt going to be uncomfortable, tough times are going to come, but let’s not make it a waste of time… God doesn’t throw a ball that we can’t catch. We can step off the boat even if we are filled with doubt we can overcome our fear because we walk toward a loving Father.  It is in those uncomfortable places that he equips us to get better at our jobs, to grow deeper in our relationships, and strengthen our faith.

Parker Winge
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