A Willingness to be Uncomfortable – Asbury University
Shapemaximize playTriangle
Watch The College Tour
Contact Us

A Willingness to be Uncomfortable

October 23, 2023

David Whitaker ‘10 
Professor, Asbury University 

This past year has been filled with firsts for me. My first child was born in June, I witnessed my first spontaneous outpouring of the Spirit, and I repaired my garage door with no knowledge of how to repair a garage door and in spite of a service provider telling me that it couldn’t be fixed. And now, I’d like to take the next 70,000 words to explain the theological lessons embedded in repairing a garage door without any sort of instruction whatsoever. 

On second thought, I’ll write about something else.  

In mid-March I began reading a book that shook me up a bit. It called out my proclivity for neighborly lethargy and reminded me that I haven’t been practicing what I preach lately. I was viewing the troubles of my neighbor more like a sad TV show I watched from my couch rather than the burdens of a brother I am privileged and called to help carry. Here are two quotes that (though separated by many pages) felt deeply intertwined as I read this book: 

“We need a revival. Better said, we need a recovery, because it’s not a new Jesus we’re talking about but a true Jesus. We need to reconnect with the real Jesus—the most dangerous man I know…we are not called to be safe. We are called to love. We are called to surrender. We are called to sacrifice. We are called to a willingness to be uncomfortable.” 

It is easy to be willing to be uncomfortable when we are caught up in the overwhelming power of the Spirit. That gap between me and my neighbor that once felt like a mountain too high to climb can seem like a mole hill when the Spirit opens our eyes to his presence in a radical way. But the reality of the mundane sets in rather quickly—as it should. We cannot live on the mountain. We must descend back to the difficult realities of the world and reckon with a sin-wrecked planet just as Peter, James, and John did when they descended back down the mountain beside Christ only to find their fellows out of their depth with a demoniac.  

Now my challenge is to walk towards my discomfort (and away from my selfishness, pride, and fear) with cold blood in my veins, knowing that the same God who filled my heart to bursting is the same God who walks beside me even when my blood runs chill. And I have found that when I disregard my selfish impulses and walk towards my neighbor to bring the agape of Jesus, the Spirit of the living God flows from the presence of my neighbor, and I am once again caught up in the deep love of Christ. Suddenly, that cold mountain walk seems like a passing dream.  


Spirit of the Living God,  
Fall afresh on me, 
Spirit of the Living God,  
Fall afresh on me. 
Break me, melt me, mold me, fill me. 
Spirit of the Living God,  
Fall afresh on me. 

Daniel Iverson (1926) 

“You show that you are a letter from Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 

– 2 Corinthians 3:3 

Book reference:  
Burgess, K. (2023) Dangerous Jesus: Why the only thing more risky than getting Jesus right is getting Jesus wrong. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale Momentum.