Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
My husband and two girls love to garden. It’s not really my thing. In fact, I jokingly tell people frequently that I have a black thumb, and kill practically every green thing I touch. But I love that my children and husband have something in common that bonds them together, so when it’s time to garden I tend to stay inside and let them do their work.
This was my plan a week ago after I had just gotten home from a non-stop, busy morning and afternoon. I really wanted to go take a nap, or at the very least put my warm, comfy clothes on and watch some TV. However, after some light prodding from my oldest for some “family time” I reluctantly agreed to come outside and help with the task of filling up the garden boxes with a special mixture of compost, manure, and pearlite that would allow our future plants to grow in favorable soil conditions. I was cold and not super excited about flinging poo around on a tarp, but I was really feeling good about sacrificing my personal desires and comfort to do something for my family. In fact, I began to enjoy being outside, seeing some of the trees and flowers blooming, hearing the birds chirp, and altogether enjoying some of God’s most beautiful creation with my favorite of God’s creation. I had a brief moment of clarity where I realized I am so glad I did not miss the opportunity to spend time with my family and that I stepped out of my comfort zone.
My euphoria came to an abrupt end the moment I felt a little drip on my head. Now, there was not a rain cloud in sight, and even before I put my hand to my head, I already knew what I would find…you guessed it. Avian excrement. A bird pooped on me. Right on my head. Disgusting? Absolutely. But in that moment, all I could do was laugh! It was really hilarious, and I love that I can laugh at myself in the most horrifying of situations. God whispered to me in that moment, “When you step out of your comfort zone, don’t count on having poop free days.”
Your comfort zone is just that: A place where you are comfortable, safe, protected, and secure. Leveling up through obedience and walking at a level high enough to reach God essentially means you are rising above that protective wall of a fortress, and the world and all that belongs to it will fling all sorts of things your way. Don’t let that adversity stop you from taking chances, from reaching for the highest of callings, and from persevering through all sorts of challenges. Jesus told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) That very same spirit in Jesus resides in us today. He overcame the world, and so can we. This is good news! Every trial we face gives us the opportunity to test our faith and let it strengthen us. And if you can laugh in the midst of it and find joy, all the better! Don’t let a little poop keep you from what God desires for your life, and from fulfilling the purpose to which he has called you. Wash it out of your hair, have a good laugh, and keep pressing forward.