Embracing Discomfort: Finding Growth in Worst-Case Scenarios

When my sons, Tony and David roughhouse one of them usually comes running saying “Dad, he smacked me in the head.” To which I respond, “Son, either duck, block, or don’t be in a position to get punched in the head!” Punches are supposed to be uncomfortable right? They hurt so that we know how to avoid or survive them. One day while kickboxing I took a nice (and by nice, I mean horrible) knee to the leg during some sparring. It hurt for weeks. However, it made me better at kickboxing because through the pain my body became conditioned to the “uncomfortable.” I wrecked my shoulder once while rolling because I waited too long to tap while caught in an Americana. That uncomfortable situation prepared me for the next time I found myself caught in that particular scenario.

In most areas of life we understand that there is a purpose to our pain. Yet, somewhere along the line we buy into the lie that says following Christ is a walk in the park. Some of us spend too much time trying to avoid the uncomfortable situations of life instead of embracing adversity for what it really is: an opportunity to grow. When I look at the Scriptures I see Jesus telling His followers to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24-26). He tells his followers to “Get ready” because a day will come when they will be arrested, beaten, persecuted, and even killed for His sake (Matthew 24:6-14). He tells His followers that they will have problems in this world, but they should take heart because He has already overcome the world (John 16:33). My favorite passage of Scripture says “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 5:10-11 ESV)

Please don’t get me wrong, I believe that God is a healer. I believe that God wants His best for us more than we want His best for us. However, the road to greatness in God often travels through the valley of the “uncomfortable.” Consider Moses, Joseph, the Prophets, and Paul. The only sinless and perfect person to ever walk this earth was persecuted, arrested, beaten, and killed (Jesus). What makes us think life will be “easy” for us? The good news is that we don’t suffer alone. The good news is that the trials we WILL endure in our quest with Christ are for our own perfection. The Good news is that after we have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us!

So instead of living in fear, let’s embrace the uncomfortable. It will only make us better.

  • Written by Carlo Serrano

About Carlo Serrano

Carlo Serrano is a pastor and teacher who is dedicated to helping people become fully devoted followers of Christ. When he is not serving the soldiers and families of the Clarksville/Ft. Campbell area as pastor of GraceLife Church or teaching at Grace College of Divinity, Carlo is pursuing his passion for BJJ. Carlo is Level 1 certified in the Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) and holds a 4 stripe Blue Belt under Ray Casias. Carlo is married and has two sons. Before entering vocational ministry he served 5 years in the US Army. For more information visit gracelifeclarksville.com or email Carlo at pastorcarlo@gracelifeclarksville.com.

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