While sitting with my friend, she blurted out, “I guess I wanted it to be easy… I was waiting for God to make it easy but instead I’m figuring out it’s hard.”
We both chuckled a bit and then stared off the deck toward the yard where our kids were playing.
Silence sat between us as we contemplated the truth in what she said.
We like it when things are easy.
- Put wet clothes in the dryer. Thirty minutes later they’re fluffy, warm and dry.
- Throw veggies and meat in the crock pot with water and seasoning— Come home hours later and the whole house smells of deliciousness.
We’d like to think if we throw all the messy stuff of our lives into a container for God to handle that He will make something amazing appear like a rabbit out of a magician’s hat. We trust Him with it and think, “Okay, God. Here it is. I’m giving it to you. I’ll be back in a little bit and see what you’ve done with all that!”
Now that is not impossible for God. He is an amazing God. He created the universe out of nothing and knits us together in our mother’s womb. So “amazing” is not outside of His capacity.
But that’s not always how He makes good in our lives.
One of the ways God loves us is by giving us the ability to choose.
He does not force us or others to choose a certain way. Because coercion is not love. Love is letting people choose even when it’s not the best choice.
So waiting for God to make things easy probably isn’t going to happen. Instead He gives us grace to endure and continually directs us toward Him.
Whether we choose His way is always up to us.
Sometimes the hard in our life is from our own choices and sometimes the hard comes from choices of those we love.
In both places, God’s grace meets us.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul writes about God’s love for us. How He chose us, has a plan for us and gives us grace to make it through. Paul goes on in chapter 3 to lay out God’s plan and encourages us in our hard places of life.
In Him, and through faith in Him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged… I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge— that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~~~ Ephesians 3:12-19
Do you see that?
In the hard places of our life, we can approach God and hand him our bowl full of mess, questions and concerns.
In return, He carries it for us. But not only that, with our hands free of trying to make something good out of the mess, He strengthens us in those places where we’re weak.
Instead of making it all go away and become instantly easy for us, He uses those hard places to root us and establish us in His love.
Because no matter what happens… ugly, hard, easy, good… We will find His love to be wider, longer, higher and deeper than we can comprehend.
And in that knowledge….the knowledge of His love… we can see that He will take what we hand him and make something good.
It’s not always on our timetable or in our way. But an all-knowing God in His all-loving ways will bring us to a better end.
My prayer for you in these hard places is that you will find Him. Find His assurance. Find His strength and find His grace to get you through.
As we bring our situations to Him, He doesn’t pull the magic rabbit out of the hat and make all the hard go away but…. we will find Him faithful. We will find Him present. And we will find His amazing grace meets us there.
He loves us well and brings us to a good end.