Don’t Let Me Stay Comfortable

by Aug 22, 2023Devotional

(Today is Abigail’s 20th birthday! Let me share some thoughts she sent me this morning.)

Laying in the hammock. No air flow. My forehead dripping with sweat. I could feel the bugs crawling in my clothes. Squawks, howls, and buzzes of unidentified objects could be heard just outside the door. I just had to squeeze my eyes shut and pretend all was normal.

I’m pampered really. Spoiled. Soft. Catered to. I’m used to air conditioned houses, warm showers, running water, flushing toilets, doors that lock, bug-free homes, no lizards watching me sleep, and no snakes and tarantulas that need to be killed in the next room. All these things that I’ve always taken for grated became luxuries over night when I spent a couple nights in a little two-bedroom, cinder-block house situated on the luscious, green countryside of Chiapas, Mexico.

I’d be foolish to pat myself on the back for “pioneering“ things for a couple days. I was just put in the place where I was having to live like millions of other people all around the world. And considering some people’s conditions, I had it a whole lot better. I had a roof over my head. A place to sleep. Food to eat. A toilet (even though you had to flush it with a bucket.) A shower (a 10-gallon tub full of water accompanied with a pitcher used to pour the water over your head.)

It amazes me how little Americans know about other countries’ people, cultures, customs, and living conditions. After returning from a two-week stay in Mexico, I was asked questions such as…

“Does Mexico have any trees? Or is it just desert?” To which I explained to the person of all the many forests and jungles Mexico has.

“What do people do down there?” To which I had to explain Mexicans have similar careers and lives to Americans. Some are doctors, others collect the city’s garbage, others attend college, some are mechanics, etc.

I think my favorite question was, “So did you go to Old Mexico or New Mexico? I guess it doesn’t matter since they are the same thing… Right?”

I realize some people might take me wrong and get offended, but please hear me out.

We all tend to live in our own worlds. Comfortable. Not really concerned about much that takes place outside our borders.

I fear this lethargic, apathetic outlook has also leaked into our spiritual lives. God has blessed us beyond measure. If we are not careful, we can end up feeling like the church of Laodicea. We are “rich, increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” We’ve gotten so used to our pews, our order of service, our systematic devotions, our group of friends, our family, and our past experiences.

Where’s the fire? Where’s the urgency to move forward? Where’s the travailing in prayer? Where’s the prevailing at the altar?

Are we curled up in our beds? So used to our air conditioning. So used to our microwaved food. So used to our modern conveniences that we’ve forgotten the millions out there dying? God help us!

It was during my stay at that little cinder-block house that I also learned another very important lesson.

I came in contact with something I had never experienced before. Something that left a feeling that you just couldn’t shake off. Fire ants!

While walking outside if you but paused in the grass for a minute or two, you would feel a stinging sensation all over your feet and ankles. Upon feeling this, you would look down to discover twenty or so ants having a feast. This would be followed my you jumping up and down hysterically, slapping your feet. Then the situation would be resolved by you running inside to immediately apply anti-itch cream to the attacked areas.

Since the property where I was staying was infested—and I mean infested—with fire ants, I caught on very quickly how to save yourself. Keep moving. Run if you have to. Don’t ever stop. Because as soon as you stop, you will suffer.

God has a remedy for soft, spoiled Christians. Fire ants. He continues to prod. Keep walking. You can’t stop. Don’t sit here to observe the scenery. Run if you have to.

Friends, we’re not seeing God move in all the power He has promised us He has. We’re not seeing the same results the saints of old saw. I’m afraid we aren’t praying like they prayed. We’ve gotten comfortable. I know. This is all easier said then done. But God help us! God help me… Spur me on o Holy Spirit. Don’t let me grow lukewarm.

2 Comments

  1. Margaret Heilman

    Thank you for this Devotional. It mirrors some of what God has been talking to me about. Seems like the enemy wants to cool our ardor for prayer, etc. I have been comparing my prayer life in this season of my life to the prayer life I developed following my conversion. May He fan the flames of desire to red hot action.

    • Elizabeth Hamilton

      Yes, grant it, Lord! Fanning the flames is exactly what I want today.