I have two dear friends(Baine and Laurie) in Cameroon working with http://www.berudep.org/. She sent me this email yesterday and I thought I would post it for all, because of the sincerity of the reflection. Here you go!
Reading back through part of my journal today, I'm realizing how much I have learned just in the past couple of month. From my journal on December 6, 2005:
It seems that the most important human priority is to be comfortable. But it also seems that the most important thing that humans need is to be confronted with discomfort. To experience one area of discomfort seems challenging but tolerable; most would even say that this merits honor or reward. But what happens when someone experiences discomfort in numerous areas of life – all at once? How can such a person survive, in comparison to the deep, deep comfort that dictates every step of the lives of most? How does the person living in discomfort get into that situation? Do they choose that path or invite it? If so, why? Does God allow people to go down the road of discomfort (i.e., pain) only when they allow/ask for it or is it super-imposed?
Why does it hurt so intensely when I am uncomfortable? Am I pursuing discomfort in hopes of refining who I am? If, before inviting discomfort, I had the slightest memory of the vivid and seemingly unbearable pain of discomfort, I would probably opt for a more selfish, mediocre, “comfortable” life. Thank God the “birth pains” fade in light of the new creation that is born through discomfort. Thank God, even in the midst of this real and agonizing pain, for the desire to be refined and the willingness to endure and boldly face discomfort. That kind of boldness and purity comes only from the grace of Christ. Thank God!
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows you its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way. If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help.” James 1:2-5