I Asked God To Make It Easy…He Said No

We having been working through calling and mission on the podcast and last podcast (maybe two podcasts ago, I don’t remember, sorry), we discussed the fear of failure when pursuing your calling for God. The fear of failure is something I struggle with constantly. I am unable to seperate the result from my value. I worry that if the dinner I cooked isn’t good, then I’m not valuable in the home. I worry that if the blog I write isn’t loved, then I’m not valuable as a writer.

Needless to say, this is not a healthy way to enter into ones calling. I mean, it’s better than not entering it at all, but still…

I don’t think I am the only one who has ever struggled with this. We only have to look to the Bible for examples. AJ pointed out to me that we can view the Bible with assumptions because we know how the story goes. I didn’t realize that I never gave credence to David’s sorrows and songs as someone wrestling with fear and doubt and faith. We know how it ends. We know that God views David as man after his own heart. I then project into that story the idea that he has already won and that he knows it, which isn’t correct. How many times have we looked at successful people and just assumed they were always successful? We look at successful people and say, “must be nice.” We ignore the reality of the person’s story and project their current situation into their history.

I listen to a lot of podcasts and they are almost always interviews with successful people who started out poor or in really bad situations. The reason their stories are so impactful is because it breaks our perceptions of what we think a successful person is. We think they were always winners. The breaking of our perceptions then opens us to the lesson.

The same thing works for holiness.

We have all asked God to make it easy. We have all asked God to take pain away from us. We have all heard the challenge to our faith, “how does God let bad things happen to good people.” For those of us who struggle with the unanswered prayers, we have only to look to the Bible.

God never promised to make it easy. In fact, he told us over and over and over again that its going to be hard…and if you want to win, it’s going to be REALLY freak’n hard (I mean he didn’t use those words, but…). We were told to pick up our cross and follow Christ. That means to join in his suffering. We were told that the world hates him and so will hate us too.

Jesus asked for his cup to be passed.

Paul asked for the thorn to be removed.

God said no to both of them.

He could have taken all the suffering away and made everything easy, but he didn’t. What he did do is provide his grace, which is sufficient. He never promised to make our lives skipping under rainbows. He promised our lives would be difficult, but the difficulty would be worth it because the reward was Him. We have his word that he will never leave us, never forsake us. He didn’t promise us a net worth. He promised us a relationship.

Hold strong. Hold steady. His grace is sufficient.

2 thoughts on “I Asked God To Make It Easy…He Said No

  1. Offering our suffering to God, is a difficult concept to grasp. That was one thing my mom always taught me…and I didn’t fully understand what she was trying to say to me whenever I was struggling. She would listen and then say “Offer it up to our Lord.” Not just the big things, but even offering up the small things like daily chores. (Especially the ones I didn’t like doing)
    My mom lived with us for 11 years. Most of her life was a struggle…she suffered a lot. One day while doing dishes on a day in July, I asked God why she had to suffer so much…why was her life so difficult when there are others who seem to just flit around through life enjoying its pleasures.
    As soon as I asked the question, God answered me. He said, “her suffering brought her closer to me…she will be with me soon.” She passed away in September.
    Needless to say, I now try to offer everything in my life to Our Lord. Suffering is wasted when not united to the Cross of Christ.

    1. There is a line I hear a lot now, and it is “these things happened FOR you, not TO you.” It’s difficult to switch that perspective, but it’s true God is always working for our good, even when it hurts. Thank you for sharing your story.

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