At my women’s Bible study this week, a word was spoken during worship to encourage the weary. It was simply this:
“God doesn’t care about your comfort, He cares about your well-being. “
As soon as I heard it, I grabbed hold of it with both hands. I knew that there was some deep truth in that phrase for me to search out. It sounded remarkably like another phrase that was spoken to me by a mentor during a dark season of my life:
“God is more concerned about your heart than your happiness.”
Both of these words were meant to encourage and challenge me. They definitely didn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. In fact, they stung my pride just a little bit. And I was reminded of King David from the Bible who was called a man after God’s own heart as a young boy yet had to wait about twenty more years to walk in the promise of Kingship over Israel.
He already had the promise but his heart wasn’t capable of carrying the weight of its fulfillment just yet.
That resonates with me. I feel like I’ve been stuck forever in the waiting room of my life when it comes to dream fulfillment. One step forward, two steps back, until I fall over into the chair of discomfort and discontentment.
My heart and my mind wonder: Did you really put that dream in my heart when I was 16, God?
Much like David, I have been fighting battles with lions and bears in the wilderness. Goliath’s of all shapes and sizes have come against me during this time of waiting. Saul’s have come after me with evil plans and many times I’ve just wanted to find a cave and hide away.
But I have had to believe that “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” (Psalm 54:4)
I have had to trust that God is helping me fight each and every battle with the intent of preparing my heart for what He has called me to do in the future. That each time I’m blindsided by pain, my purpose is being refined through God’s sustaining love.
I now see, if given the opportunity as a young woman, I would have chosen to go after dreams based upon my personal comfort And comfort can be downright fatal to the health of one’s soul.
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)
A committed heart doesn’t come from an easy life. How can you tell if I’m committed if I’ve never had anything threaten my happiness? Commitment comes only after we have made a choice to stick with someone through all that may come our way.
A devoted heart doesn’t happen overnight.
If I had been given the opportunity to fulfill my dreams at 16, I would have wavered in my faith because my heart wasn’t strong enough to carry them yet. Years of discomfort and disappointment have come my way while I’ve been waiting. But, my heart has learned contentment and faithfulness because of the delay.
And if my dreams match the condition of my heart, I want to position myself under the waterfall of His love as much as possible. Comfort comes from Him when my faith is stagnant, but it never causes me to stop pursuing something greater than myself.
A healthy heart is my calling. And Jesus is the only doctor that can make that dream come true.