Recently a friend and I were talking about my trip to Greece (for those of you who don’t know-I’ll be heading there by myself after less than 3 weeks of marriage). And she said to me, “I don’t know how you are going to do it. I could never do it!”
It’s too hard.
Another friend and I were talking one time about friends of ours who have foster children. She said to me, “I don’t think that is ever something I could do. I could not attach to a child and then lose them like that.” I’ll be honest, recently as adoption and foster care have come up in conversation with my fiance, I caught myself wondering, “Could I really handle it? I am already an overly emotional person.”
It’s too hard.
In another conversation, someone was talking about a recently long distance relationship, and said something along the lines of “I can’t stop crying, I feel so sad. This is supposed to come easily. I don’t know how long I can do this,”
It’s too hard.
I often get overwhelmed with all of these thoughts and with all the difficulties (sometimes fleeting, sometimes more permanent) throughout my journey in life. There have been times where life has seemed so hard that I have even asked God, “Why can’t you just come take me to heaven today?”
It really is too hard.
But wait. Hold up. Friends, who ever said life is supposed to be easy? In general, but especially for those of us who call ourselves Christians; Where do we keep getting this idea that life is supposed to be breeze?
Sometimes we even get the idea, that being a Christian will make our lives ‘easier’ or ‘problem free’. (Even Pastor’s like Joel Olsteen and others seem to get caught up in this idea). But God NEVER said it was supposed to be easy.
In a perfect, sinless reality it would be a different story. But look around. This world is broken, people. It is fallen, it is full of sin and darkness. However, it isn’t hopeless.
It would be easy for us to all keep ourselves in a safe little bubble. Away from pain and hardship. Away from difficult situations and brokenness. In fact, often times many of us do.
Because it’s too hard.
But is easy, fulfilling? Is ‘easy’ the life that God has called us to? Jesus is the greatest example that we have of how we should look as children of God; And he was born in a barn, he spent part of his childhood as a refugee, and after knowing heaven he grew up in a broken, sinful world, full of poverty and pain.
Jesus didn’t have his own home and often didn’t rest his head in the same place. He was face to face and was tempted by Satan. He was slandered, mocked, doubted, and called a liar. And worst of all he was beaten, bruised, and separated from His Heavenly Father for sins that were not his own. NO, I don’t think Jesus would have ever said his life was easy.
So why do we assume that ours should be? Why do we, so often to choose the easy path?
1 Peter 1:7 “Though now for a little while you have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
It is in the hard moments that we really come face to face with Jesus.
When life is extremely easy, it’s easy to be self-sufficient and do it all on our own. The meaning of Grace and mercy is found through the brokenness and hardships we endure. And in the hardships and dirtiness, we see where we are truly putting our identity and we learn that our faith is NOT about us, but about God. It is about who He is, What He does, and How he works.
From the moment we begin our spiritual journey (and even leading up to it), God is in the process of sanctifiying us. Sanctification is a process that we continue our entire lives (although some periods are more difficult than others). When everything in our lives is simple and not complicated, its easy to trust God…and also easy to become to independent. It’s in the difficult times and choices that we see how strong our faith is and have the opportunity to trust in Him; to be guided by His calling rather than our own choices.
It is hard.
Not everything that God puts in our path or asks us to do is hard, but just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that it isn’t what God is calling us to do. So I will go to Greece and continue praying about missions, as God has called us to in the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20). I will not give up on the idea of foster or adoption, because God has called us to care for the widows and the orphans (James 1:27). And relationships that take work…those are the relationships that deepen and the relationships that strengthen us.
And as I think through this and look at my life…maybe I don’t want think to be easy….because if my life and my decisions are always easy, then am I really living like Jesus (which is my goal as His follower)?
So, yes…it is hard!
But it will most definitely be worth it.