Enlarge My Coast

Enlarge My Coast


And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:10

Many years ago, the Prayer of Jabez was popular. Little giftbooks came out about it along with other gift items. People passed out little wallet cards with the verse printed on it. My mom taped her card to the steering wheel of her car and prayed it every single day. She gave me a plague with the verse printed on it. It has since gone missing, wandering off with the help of a small child, but for a long time it sat on my desk. And I prayed it every day. Or did. I haven’t for awhile now, because honestly, I forgot.

But it was brought to mind the other day. You see, I am, by nature, a quiet, shy person. If I don’t know you, I don’t have much to say. Small talk is not my gift. I tend to be direct like Rachel Lynn on Anne of Green Gables. Okay, well maybe I’m not quite that direct. But almost. Becoming an author – a published author – was a dream come true. And I used to joke and say “If my book ever appears in the Christian Book Distributors catalog I would know I made it.” My very first book appeared there. Then I said, “If I ever see my book at Walmart I would know I made it.” My books appeared in Walmart.

And then these uncomfortable scenarios cropped up. Book signings. Discussions about my book in front of a small group. I got pretty good at handling myself in the small rural area I live in, and was actually flattered when a couple times I had a line. A. Line! Of people who wanted to meet me! Wow. It wasn’t as long as say a line to meet Beverly Lewis, but still. She’s been around a lot longer than I have and I have no idea how many books she has out, but it must be in the triple digits. I’m grateful for the double digit amount I have out.

But then I got a phone call. The conversation mentioned a book tour. Tour. As in more than one location. As in a massive road trip. To cities.

I didn’t say a whole lot. What could I say? Excuse me while I go find a cave and hide? They said they flew another author to Nashville. My heart started pounding. My head hurt and I think I had a major hot flash. I reminded myself to breathe.

I whined to my husband, mentioning the possibility of those two words. He said embrace it. Right. Good thing I love that man. Embrace the major shove out of my comfort zone if it actually happens?

But that made me think of that verse in 1 Chronicles. And those words. Enlarge my coast. Other translations say increase my territory. Expand my boundaries.

Do we really think about what we’re praying with that verse? What if God decides to answer it and shoves you out of your comfort zone? Will you enter into the increased boundaries like I do, fearfully and carefully, imagining the worst?

Or will you embrace it with open arms, “Here I am, World!”?

And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:10

How do you handle being shoved out of your comfort zone? If you’re comfortable, will you share your tips for those of us who aren’t?

 

 

 

 

 

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Laura Hilton About Laura Hilton

Laura Hilton lives and writes in Arkansas, surrounded by her husband and five children. The author of inspirational novels about the Amish, she is also a book reviewer. Find Laura online at: her blog or Facebook page.

Comments

  1. Laura, great post! My sister and I also embraced the Jabez prayer a few years ago. I still have the set of inspirational cards in a bathroom and just read this one the other day. It’s guaranteed to help move out of our comfort zone. “You are not alone. God will fight for you. You can go ahead in spite of any fears you might have to take the new ground God is giving you.”

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  2. I’m also not comfortable in crowded social situations, but as in anything else, if I know God is sending me in an uncomfortable direction, I take a deep breath and keep praying as I step out into adventure!

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  3. Laurie Driesen says:

    I remember long ago someone from church called me and asked if I would give my testimony in front of church. I said, “No, I don’t think so.” After we hung up, I suddenly felt extremely guilty. I called her back and said, “Of course, I’ll do it.” God has done so much for me and given me things to talk about and share, how could I say NO? I realized that speaking for Him just has to be done. It is a little outside of my comfort zone but I’m always so happy to be able to share His truth with others. That’s what takes me out of my comfort zone. Thanks for a great post Laura, you really do have wonderful things to share!

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