This is the story of how God taught me, through a cup of tea, that staying in my comfort zone will keep His gifts for me, unopened and my dreams unfulfilled.
It was my birthday, so my daughter bought me a tea infuser along with a canister of flavored tea and a beautiful china teacup. What a wonderful gift! I just couldn’t wait to use them, but I told her that I wanted the two of us to have the first cups of tea, together. Then, I set the gift aside. But, before I knew it, setting the tea infuser to the side became setting it off to the side and then, later, putting it away. It remained unopened, unused and un-enjoyed. In the meantime, I continued to make my tea in the way that agreed with my comfort zone. Whenever she asked if I’d used the tea infuser, yet, I’d tell my daughter that I was waiting for the time when we would be able to enjoy a cup together.
Almost a year later, my daughter was home frantically searching the kitchen cabinets for the tea infuser. “I’m going to make you one cup of tea before I take my tea infuser back,” she announced. She found the infuser, made the tea, poured it into the beautiful china teacup and watched, as I sipped the tea. Without question, it was one of the most delicious cups of tea I’d ever tasted. Unexpectedly, I began to cry. We were both surprised by my reaction but, once I was able to compose myself, I explained:
As I sat there sipping this most wonderful cup tea, it occurred to me that one of the best cups of tea I’d ever encountered had been sitting in my kitchen cabinet unopened, untasted and un-enjoyed, for almost a year. Then it was as if God was saying to me, “And that’s just a cup of tea. Imagine all the other gifts I’ve given you that you have chosen not to open?” That’s when the tears began to flow.
A few weeks later, I was sharing this story with my sister when, thankfully, she asked a follow-up question: “So, How do you open a gift from God?” While I had not thought about it before, the answer came immediately:
Every time you step outside your comfort zone, you open a gift from God.
Webster’s Dictionary defines “comfort zone” as a place, situation, or level where someone feels confident and comfortable. It takes faith to step outside of your comfort zone and intentionally do something that’s new and unfamiliar. But, in the Book of Romans (Romans 12:3), it says, God has given each of us, the measure of faith. It doesn’t say, “He’s given us a measure of faith.” It says, “He’s given us the measure of faith.” This means God has provided (the gift of) the exact measure of faith necessary to accomplish every border-stretching, limit-breaking dream He has placed in our hearts. But if we don’t step out, we leave the gift of faith for each assignment (just like my tea infuser) unopened and unused. And, sometimes, that’s the reason why many of our dreams remain unfulfilled.
When you step outside of your comfort zone, you’re showing God that you trust Him. You’re telling Him, “Lord, If I fall, I know you’ll catch me.” Do you know how happy that makes Him? I didn’t realize it at the time, but my leaving her gift unopened made my daughter sad. It makes God feel that way, too. That’s why Hebrews 11:6 says, Without faith it is impossible to please God.
Listen, God has placed something in your heart, and whatever it is, He has given you a gift — the exact measure of faith you need — to step out of your comfort zone and get it done. But you can only get it done when you open that gift of faith by acting on it … not talking about it; not thinking about it, not even, praying about it . You just have to DO it. Why? Because James 2:20 tells us that Faith without works is dead.
My prayer for you is that you’ll open every gift of faith that God has provided and go far beyond the borders of the familiar. I pray that you will step outside your comfort zone time and time, again. How would your life change if you stepped outside your comfort zone, at least, once each month in 2017?
So, What do you say? Are you ready to open every gift of faith that God has provided for you? Here’s your LifeSpeak this Week assignment:
For the next 7 days, start your mornings by saying this simple prayer: Thanks, God, I finally understand. Every time I step outside my comfort zone, I am opening a gift from YOU. Going forward, I will not leave any of Your gifts of faith unopened. As a result, You will give me the victory and I will give You all the glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
If you prayed that prayer, in sincerity, please leave a comment and let me know. Now, It’s time for us to get going. We’ve got lots of gifts to open.
Thanks for reading this week’s edition of LifeSpeak for Living. Someone you know needs this post, right now. Please take the time to share it. Follow me on twitter @WilmaHollis. Want to spend more time in God’s Word with your children? We can help. Visit lifespeakforkids.com. Until next week: Show love, share laughs and speak life.
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