Both my wife and I have health issues which would be if not resolved completely, would be easier to manage in a First-World economic environment with First-World healthcare available. For example, in January my medical insurance company chose profits over patient care and I had to change medication for diabetes management because the medication I was using - and had been controlling my glucose levels perfectly - is too expensive. In England, my home country and a place we may consider moving back to, patient care comes first, not profits - although cost is an issue as it is a Government paid service. I am thankful that after six months of adverse reaction to the medication that replaced the original I have been able to revert - because the price came down.
And that is but one of many examples.
Some days I find it hard to believe I am in the right place.
Yes, I have been open to being used by God, as His instrument and voice, but how much more could have been done had I listened to the voice saying "This is the way" a year ago?
We had the opportunity to move to England in March 2014 but it would have meant major changes in style and size of home. We chose creature comforts over instinct. Not a wise move. I did something similar 20 years ago and it took me another 18 years to start writing - something I knew I was called to do from a teenager.
Right place and right time, or the concept that I am automatically where God wants me to be is a popular misconception. It creates complacency. God uses us where we are, and He can use us effectively if we are open to it, but He has a plan for our lives. The problem is that our ideas may not line up with His plan if we don't take them to Him.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death." [Proverbs 16:25 NKJV]Imagine when it was going well for Paul in Ephesus that he had said "I'm comfortable here. It must be where God wants me." He could have chosen to stay there making tents and we'd have lost most of the New Testament.
Consider that the Holy Spirit had a direct hand in allowing persecution of the disciples as they became comfortable in Jerusalem, forcing them to move abroad and reach the World with Jesus's message - the Great Commission.
Often what God calls us to is uncomfortable. It is difficult and challenging so our Faith can be developed. Without challenges ministers like Billy Graham, Jesse Duplantis, Dave Duell, Andrew Wommack and many others would never have reached the millions they have reached through their ministries, travelling evangelical and church-support conferences and the other events where lives have been changed. Preachers of the past and Godly men like Wilberforce, the Wesleys, Luther and Whitefield could have succumbed to outside pressure in favour of comfort.
Change is uncomfortable. Growth hurts. When a seed falls to the ground it must die before it can grow. The caterpillar must cease to exist for the butterfly to emerge. So it is with us. We strive to stay in our cocoons when God wants us to be a rainbow of colours with wings to carry us that He longs to provide.
So yes, some people are where they are meant to be. Bruce Wilkinson wrote a wonderful book called "The Dream Giver" some time ago. It is the story of Ordinary, a man living in the Land of Familiar, who has a dream to move away and follow the dream. He battles with giants and seemingly well-meaning friends and family to reach his dream and after much struggle he finds he is able to reach the city he's dreamed of with a message of hope for them.
In the sequel book, "The Dream Giver for Couples", Ordinary marries and he and his wife must travel together to reach a shared dream. Again they fight battles with giants and times in wastelands where it seems they have lost their way, but by trusting the Dream Giver they reach their new destination to follow their shared dream.
So before you get comfortable - too comfortable - where you are, ask yourself: "Am I where I should be? Lord, Am I where YOU want me to be and in the centre of YOUR will?" If the answer is "Yes" to all three questions, Go with God.
If the answer is "No", find out where and what your purpose is through prayer, meditation and sharing your vision with people you trust in the Faith.
The Old Testament history books are a guide for us. We don't have to learn by hard knocks all the time. When the Israelites entered the Promised Land they captured city after city, each one in a different way. Jericho was defeated by the sound of a trumpet. Jericho was a city terrified of the Israelites, and the only city God commanded the people take no spoils from. Achan and his family did, and as a result the Israelites were defeated by a smaller army at the city of Ai when they reached it. After the sin was dealt with, Joshua sent an army to the city again under God's instruction. The battle was won and the city taken. In Joshua 9, the next cities deceive Israel by negotiating a treaty which the leaders did not take before God before swearing it. As a result the cities were left intact and ungodly influences that would eventually lead Israel into the worship of false gods were allowed to remain in the Promised Land.
Forwards in time, King David took each plan of war campaign before God and waited for His reply before he sent the warriors in. What happened was not the same twice.
Jesus healed more than one blind man in His ministry, but He used different ways to do it.
Don't make my mistake and let apparent comfort hold you back from God's Will for your life. Take your plans to God in prayer and wait. Wait as long as it takes before you act to be certain that you've heard His plans for you. His plan is one for the best for us (see Jeremiah 29) to keep us with hope for the future. Paul writes that Faith, Hope and Love are eternal, and the writer of Hebrews 11 reminds us that faith is the substance of what we hope for.
Get out there and Follow His lead.
You'll never regret it if you do.