Where did I get the idea life shouldn’t be so hard? Am I the only one surprised by how “not easy” the pathway is?
This isn’t meant to be a poor-me-life’s-so-hard kind of post. It’s just that I often walk into things, even things I know will be difficult, and expect them to go well for me, especially when I’m doing the “right” thing. And I’m surprised (and hurt) when things don’t go well—when the answer takes months, even years.
Maybe it comes from some skewed view of that “yoke is easy, burden is light” verse (Matthew 11:28-30). None of the disciples had it easy when they did the right thing. I don’t think Jesus was saying, “Trust me and you’ll have an easy, wonderful life with rainbows and quick answers.”
Years ago, my therapist gave me a profound piece of advice. I called her in a tizzy because a confrontation I dreaded awaited me on the other side of a closed door. She said in a far too chipper therapy voice. “Did you think this was going to be easy?” Behind my “Of course not,” my heart told a different story. Yes, I thought it might be easy. I was doing the best I could, and it wasn’t too much to think the other person might see my growth and rejoice. Plus, I was seeking God, so sure, maybe a big part of me thought I could skip the hard conversation and go straight to the place where everyone got along. That conversation took years and years and a thousand more conversations to get to where I had hoped it would be on that first day.
And maybe that’s the key. The story is long. It’s written all over the Bible. God doesn’t play the short game with us. We want the easy—the part where we step out in faith, and he immediately catches us. And yeah, I know that sometimes happens, but I also think as we grow, we get to go through the struggle because it’s in the struggle we grow the most.
A good story must have conflict. It’s through the struggle the protagonist grows and becomes something new. I’ve taken comfort in God’s sovereignty. He doesn’t cause the evil, but he does allow it to touch our lives. Sometimes it flows from our own actions. Sometimes from others. But all the time, one thing is sure. He can use it to both grow and mold us into the persons he’s created us to be.
The thing is, we might not realize all of this until we’re on the other side of it. Now, looking back at the day I called my therapist, I can see the beautiful lessons I learned not just about me, but also about God’s faithfulness and about the other person. Those were my lessons. Others have learned them faster than I did, I’m sure. But my story isn’t about them.
And isn’t that beautiful? God—almighty, all-powerful, all-loving—is involved in each of our lives, weaving us together, watering, pruning, growing us into the unique person he created us to be. The person who knows Him, meets Him in the garden, and reflects His power and strength.
So, don’t hate the hard parts and don’t compare your story to someone else’s. The journey might never be easy, but keep trusting. God isn’t done with you yet.
What do you think? Which is better the easy life or the hard one?