The Discomfort of Love


Recently my family embarked on a summer road trip, loading up the car to go to Illinois to see my wife’s family. She wanted to help her nephew sort through her sister’s belongings to decide what to keep or discard. My wife’s sister passed away two years ago. The trip promised to be both a good time with family and a difficult experience of reliving pain and loss.

There are certainly other things that our family would have liked to do during days off from work. There are other places that we would have liked to road trip to. Doing the uncomfortable thing, though, is what being part of a family is all about. Showing love even when it’s uncomfortable is what being a follower of Jesus is all about as well.

In Philippians 2:1-11 the apostle Paul reminds the church at Philippi that Jesus shows great love to us as He “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Obviously, Jesus suffered great discomfort in His humble obedience. As Christians, we are also called to empty ourselves in service and love to others.

We will not experience the discomfort and pain equal to what Jesus experienced. However, living and loving this way does require us to embrace discomfort on some level. It was so for our family as we endured many miles in a cramped car and hours spent being reminded of loss. It is what we are called to as Christians though and oddly in the midst of the discomfort of circumstances, we did find great comfort from love.

Questions to consider:

  • When is the last time you experienced discomfort as you actively loved and served another person?
  • When is the last time that you were aware of or felt comfort from God’s love through that of another person?
  • Spend some time in quiet reflection as you consider how Jesus endured great discomfort in loving us.