Are you living in or out of the packet?

seed-packets

In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to share a story with you about the little seed.

There once was a little seed that was comfortable and content to live within the confines of the seed packet. It was safe, warm and others surrounded him. The little seed couldn’t imagine anything better. This has to be the perfect way to live, the little seed thought to himself.

All was well until the fateful day when the gardener came into the shed and took that seed out of the packet. The seed didn’t know what was going on or why the gardener would choose to take him out of the familiar and place him into the unknown. Things went from bad to worse for the little seed. You see, the gardener didn’t just take the seed out of the packet; he placed that seed down in a hole and covered it up with soil.

The little seed cried out. He was now cold, alone and scared. Why would the gardener be so cruel? What good could possibly come from this situation?

The seed stayed in this hole for quite some time. Occasionally, the hole would become wet, which made the seed shiver, but the sun seemed to continue to warm the soil even if the seed couldn’t see it. Over time the little seed started to change, it began to sprout and push its way through the ground to reach for the warmth of the sun.

The little seed was no more; it was now a beautiful plant standing strong in the master’s garden. The winds of life would blow, but its roots where firmly planted. With continual care from the gardener, that plant produced fruit for all to see.

If the seed would have stayed within the safety of the seed packet and not placed into the cold, dark hole it never would have brought forth such fruit.

The very same thing is true in our lives as well. We may be completely content and comfortable where we are, however, God has other plans for us. If we are going to produce fruit for Him we have to go through some dark times and struggles. But those will only serve to make our roots in Him stronger.

So the next time God is nudging you in a different direction, don’t fear the change. Think of the little seed and embrace it. You never know what all God has in store for you until you are willing to be used.

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Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

comfortzone

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV).

The majority of us like to live within our comfort zone, because we feel safe and secure.  However, if we are going to fulfill the purpose that God has for us, we are going to have to take that first step of faith.  This is not easy.  Many times we sit inside our safe, comfy box and think of all these reasons why we could not possibly step outside.  I speak from experience; making excuses is exactly what I had been doing for quite sometime.

About a year ago, I was sitting in a Bible study group trying to decide whether I was going to step out of my comfort zone and let those around me know where I felt the Lord was leading me.  I will admit that this was difficult for me to do.  It puts you in a very vulnerable place when you step out in faith and announce what direction you are going for the Lord.  I knew by letting these women know, they would be watching me closer to see if I indeed followed through or simply retreated back to the security of my comfort zone.  However, I knew the Lord was leading me in the direction of speaking and writing and I could not imagine turning my back on the purpose He has for my life.

For those who do not know me, this is so far outside of my comfort zone that I could no longer even see the box.  Obviously, this is exactly where God wanted me, relying on His power and strength instead of my own.  God has given me this passion to help others through my speaking and writing and He wanted me to jump out of the box and follow His lead.

Therefore, I took that first step by telling those precious women what the Lord had placed on my heart and the direction I was headed.  I asked for their prayers as I started this journey.  I do not know where this road will take me, but I am certain I do not want to continue to sit on the sidelines.  I made the choice to chase hard after the purpose God had given to me.

It all starts with that first step or leap of faith out of your comfort zone.  The road will not be easy, but God has promised to walk with us every step of the way.  Do not be satisfied with sitting and watching life pass you by.  You need to get up and get going on your own journey.

Your Turn:  I challenge you this week to spend some time with God and see where He is leading you and then make a list of things you need to do to start your journey.  Then, I want you to select one thing from the list and do it this week. No more excuses!

Heavenly Father, we come before you today thankful for the purpose you have for each one of us.  Give us the strength and courage we need, Lord, to take that first step of faith out of our comfort zone and follow after you calling.  In Your Precious Name, Amen.