We can all prefer to stay in the familiar, rather than pursue something that is different or novel.
Even when the familiar is destructive and fruitless.
As a counsellor I watched this play out so many times as people resisted trying something new, even when they were in seriously distressing circumstances.
Where women continued to endure abusive marriages. Where people remained in unfulfilling jobs, with dreadful conditions and critical bosses. Or where teens persisted in hanging around disloyal and dishonest friends.
One of the main factors for remaining stuck is that we can become anxious about the unfamiliar.
And so we resist. Choosing to remain in spaces that are at least predictable, even if they are unsatisfactory or harmful.
Change forces us to deviate from our normal routines and the way we have structured our lives. It moves us from one place or state, to another. And as we transition there is a reordering and shifting.
So even though change can move us towards abundance, it also has a power to stir up trepidation.
Ambiguity unsettles us. We wonder about our capacity to cope. And question whether we might just be exchanging one set of problems for another.
But there are times we are called to move out of one space, so we can walk into another. By just taking the first step. Without worrying about the subsequent steps. Or wondering where the entire journey will lead or where it will end.
Not waiting, hoping for some miraculous solution. Not just thinking about initiating change. Or trying to change.
But being willing to make a change.
To take just one action that moves us out of our comfort zone, into the uncomfortable and unfamiliar.
Trusting that when God calls us to move, we are never alone. He will provide, equip, and sustain.
In Scripture, God’s faithfulness is confirmed for us over and over again.
We see it in the Book of Joshua, when Joshua initially assumes the leadership from Moses. God assigns him the task of leading the millions of Israelites, over the Jordan River, into the Promised Land. Joshua initially lacks confidence and self-assurance. He doubts his sufficiency to lead God’s people and accomplish the enormous undertaking God has assigned him.
But God challenges Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with your wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
God issued the call. For Joshua to take the first step. And once Joshua began to act, the Jordan River parted, opening the way for him to lead the Israelites across the river into the Promised Land.
So when we too are in hard places, we must also be strong and courageous. Stepping out in faith, confident that God is with us.
And with His help, and by taking one step at a time, we will move forward. And enter a better place.
For an index of all my posts in the series, please click here.
Photo credits: Jake Hills and Lindsay Henwood , from Unsplash