As Christians, I think we like to talk a lot about fruit - fruit of the spirit, evidence of the Holy Spirit's workings in our lives. We like to talk about how God has made our lives abundant in blessings and given us the ability to flourish - to be "fruitful". But where does this fruitfulness come from?
In all truth, fruit usually comes from the "land of [our] affliction", it grows in the midst of challenges and discomfort. Oftentimes we hear talks and testimonies of God pruning us, of storms and dark valleys where we find ourselves in different seasons of life; we hear of the good things that can come from standing firm through all these and how despite the pain "we can [endure] all things through Christ who gives us strength." All incredibly true, all incredibly valid and relevant to each and every one of us, but I wonder...
How willing are we, truly, to deliberately and with purpose seek out discomfort and challenge - under the guidance of the Holy Spirit - for the betterment of our character?
Of late I've found myself regularly reminded of the transformative power of the Holy Spirit and the incredible work that God is doing in me, a work He will one day complete (Philippians 1:6). It is through the moments when God encouraged me to take a risk, to be vulnerable and at my most uncomfortable that the Holy Spirit has been free to do the most healing, redeeming and restoring.
He has helped me to understand that by surrendering my comfort I am most open to partner with the Holy Spirit for the sake of the Kingdom and my character, thus developing an abundance of fruit and enabling me share that fruit with those around me with love, grace and compassion.
Peace and joy are always available to us, even in the midst of discomfort, so I wonder... what is God encouraging you to do that appears challenging and uncomfortable? Will you trust Him?