“So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way…” Hebrews 12:1 (GNT)
It was the middle of the night, and I was on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic. I was excited for this trip, but this first 12-hour leg was proving to be brutal. I had the window seat; large men occupied the other two seats. My discomfort was growing. It wasn’t the fact that I had very little legroom, or that I was cramming myself against the window in an effort to give the poor man in the middle more room. No, it was far worse. It was my, *ahem*, “foundational garment.”
Me: You’re getting awfully tight.
Garment: So? You’re the one who decided to wear me on this long trip!
Me: But you’re the sports variety. You’re supposed to be extra comfortable.
Garment: Ha-ha! Fooled ya’!
Me: I’m going to pull you lower around my ribs.
Garment: I’ll just ride up again.
Me: Can’t you let up just a little?
Garment: No. I’m going to keep squeezing until your ribs feel like they’re being crushed by a boa constrictor.
Me: My seatmates are asleep, so I can’t get up. Please, just a little relief?
Garment: Isn’t it great how this high altitude is making it worse? Squeeeeeeeeeeeeze!
Finally, I simply could not bear it any more. I looked at my seatmates, reluctant to wake them. Hmmmm, they appeared to be really asleep, not just dozing. I jostled around. Neither of them moved. I glanced around. Everyone was sleeping—probably because they weren’t being strangled by a small piece of Lycra straight from Hades. Using my shawl as a tent, I stealthily began the contortions that would free me from my misery, no small feat, since I was also wearing a camisole under my shirt. Thankfully I’m flexible and soon, though it fought to the bitter end, I was free and the offending garment was tucked away in my bag, never to taunt me again. HALLELUJAH!!
Sometimes, I feel like God is squeezing me as much as my garment was. I’m ashamed to say that I can feel crushed by the obedience He is asking of me, by the trials I go through, and the discipline of what it takes be His daughter. I don’t want to feel constricted; I want my walk to be easy. I want to always feel like worshiping, to desire to read His Word. I want unwavering faith, never allowing doubt to creep in. I fail often.
The thing is though, without these “constrictions,” I will grow stagnant, and that is far worse than losing my comfort. God wants us, His daughters, to be closer to Him, and sometimes, He just has to give us a little (or big) squeeze.
“Lord, forgive me for the times I would rather be comfortable than go through what it takes to make me more like You. Please help me to be a good example and to bring You honor. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”