Randy Greene is a part of the Communications team at Church of the Resurrection. He helps develop and maintain the church’s family of websites. When he’s not at the church, he loves to write on his blog and reads a wide variety of books.
A couple of nights ago, my wife and I decided to rearrange our bedroom. We ended up rotating our bed, which necessitated that she and I flip-flop which side of the bed we each claimed. This is the first time we’ve changed sides of the bed since we got married seven-and-a-half years ago, so this was a big deal.
Our sleep that night was miserable. The mattress had, over the years, conformed to our bodies and sleeping habits, so when we switched sides, the mattress no longer fit our bodies – the lumps were in all the wrong places. Even worse, though, was the simple fact that we were accustomed to sleeping based on our assigned sides of the bed, so our muscle memory was programmed to respond in certain ways during the night. When we rotated our sleeping positions, suddenly that muscle memory couldn’t work. The little adjustments we’d been making in our sleep for the past seven years completely went out the window. We woke up the next morning tired and sore. I even had a bizarre cowlick in my hair that, to this day, I cannot explain.
I imagine Jacob felt this same discomfort, but to a greater degree. Not only was he not sleeping in his own bed, but he was in an unknown place with no shelter and only a rock for a pillow. He was in the midst of a personal crisis that was shaking up his entire life and, to top it all off, his sleep was riddled with bizarre dreams.
Yet when he woke up, the first thing he did was to recognize the presence of God in that place.
When I am stressed, tired, and uncomfortable, seeking God is the last thing I think about – instead, my immediate reaction is to work harder to fix my problems. But I think there’s something special about being pushed outside my comfort zone that makes me particularly receptive to the message of God. When I am exhausted and weak and choose to find solace in Christ, God works in me in incredible ways.
Pastor Adam challenged us this weekend to find joy in discomfort. If I view challenges in life as an opportunity to trust in Christ, then those times of discomfort transform and become comforting. My goal this week to seek the presence of God even in my most awkward, uncomfortable circumstances.
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.