The Discomfort Zone

The Discomfort Zone

Wails erupt in my backyard. I feel the neighborhood cringing.

I teach swimming lessons each summer. At present, I’m several days into a new session. Learning to swim is stressful. For most kids, swimming sounds fun until…

Until it’s not.

It’s hard.

It’s scary.

And it takes work.

While some kids truly are fearful, most are simply out of their comfort zone. Water in your eyes, nose, and ears feels weird.

When you step into water, you sink. But if you lie on it, the same water will hold you.

Right.

Kids cry, scream, and throw the grandest of fits—until the uncomfortable becomes normal.

That’s when the fun starts.

When the stroke has been mastered and the discomfort endured, kids enjoy the delight water is. They can handle water’s dangerous side because they’ve learned the necessary survival skills.

How often we act like God’s swim kids. As He nudges us into our discomfort zone, we cry, whine, and beg to stay home from lessons. We stall, mess with our goggles, and try to escape with a potty break.

Meanwhile, He waits for us in the pool.

He comforts us when we scream in frustration or clutch so tightly we leave nail marks in His chest. He encourages us to open our eyes under water, to close our mouth, hold our breath, and discover the wonders below.

He straightens our crooked kick and teaches us to do the impossible—float atop the very water only He can walk on.

Gently, but firmly, He teaches us to survive—and thrive—in a habitat that is not our own. Out of our comfort zone, in a place where danger is always present, He equips us to handle it.

Hebrews 12:11 (MSG) says, “At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.”

So, hold your breath. Kick your feet. Flip over and float. Work through the discomfort zone, because once you get it, you won’t want to get out of the pool.

Questions:

Did swimming come easily for you?

How do you act out of your comfort zone?

When has the discomfort zone become second nature?

How would you encourage someone in the discomfort zone?

Tweetables:

As the uncomfortable becomes normal, that’s when the fun starts. Click to tweet.

As He nudges us into our discomfort zone, we cry, whine, and beg to stay home. Click to tweet.

He teaches us to survive—and thrive—in a habitat that is not our own. Click to tweet.

Work through the discomfort zone, because once you get it, you won’t want to get out of the pool. Click to tweet.

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