As human beings living in our modern society, one of the things that drives us most is comfort. From comfort foods to padded shoes to plush couches, we are drawn to making our lives more comfortable. Our children often remind us of this too, as they usually look for the most comfortable and easiest (sometimes laziest) options that are available to them. Instead, we battle to push them outside of their comfort zone to take on tasks that will stretch them.
As our Heavenly Father, God constantly pushes us as well to step out of our comfortable, cushy environment into difficult, messy, and trying situations. While it is true that God is our comforter, He is not one to make us comfortable, but rather He has called us to take on challenges and to enter into dark places to bring light. I was reminded of this reality this week as I listened to Gordon Pauls share his testimony and reheard Corrie ten Boom’s story.
Both heard and answered God’s call on their lives as they were compelled to meet some significant needs. In Gordon Pauls’ case, he felt burdened by God to raise money to support families in Haiti by providing work training for them. In order to come up with the funding, he was led to do a triple iron man (3 iron man competitions in a row). When he reached the point where his body no longer wanted to function, God supernaturally gave him strength and the words of Isaiah 40:31 to keep him going.
In the case of Corrie ten Boom, she took up the cause of protecting the lives of countless people (especially Jews) in the Netherlands during World War II, while the Nazis occupied their country. She gave up all of her comfort to the extent of being taken to prison and a concentration camp instead of giving up the people she was protecting. During her time there, God gave her the ability to not only persevere, but to praise him in the midst of difficulties. This even included using fleas, which were unpleasant but protected their barrack from Nazi officials entering it.
In the middle of all this, God used 1 Thess. 5:14-18 as a great encouragement to her, reminding her to give thanks to God in all circumstances, rejoice at all times, and not repay evil for evil, but to do good. Once she was released, she even forgave the former Nazi officer that brought much pain into her life, as he repented and came to Christ. What a powerful testimony of how God has a plan for us and how he uses the most difficult and dark times for our growth and the benefit of others.
J-D Lussier, Principal