Over the past few weeks I have often wondered to myself, “What if saying ‘yes’ to Jesus gave us an automatic ticket to the easy life?”
You know, the life where we were immune to hardship and trial and where our loving, capable, almighty, LIVING Father in heaven had things all taken care of and we didn’t have to shed a single tear, wonder about tomorrow, ache for the things burdening our hearts, or come before His throne of grace trembling with a million questions on our hearts.
Sure would be easy…but certainly not the life of faith we are called to when we follow Jesus Christ!
As my family has journeyed a road of such uncertainty over the past three months, His word to me has been the same. Over and over again.
The journey of faith MUST get uncomfortable!
I have pondered that truth so much in my heart recently. We live in a day and age where we can pretty much find a quick fix for most things.
The car breaks down and we repair it.
The screen on the iPad gets smashed. No problemo. They can fix that too.
Some new hairdresser uses the wrong color on my hair and when I get home my hubby says, “What did you do with my wife?”
Yeah. I can fix that too.
Bones get repaired. Artificial joints get inserted for greater comfort. A new medication on the market relieves ailments.
We fix things! It’s just what we do in the 21st century. So much easier today than it was even ten years ago.
But then there are the other things–those things in life that we would love to find an immediate solution to.
But there is nothing.
Nothing but silence. And uncertainty. And sheer discomfort.
And that too….
…is His perfect will for us in that season.
As all eleven of us (laden with wheelchair, walker, feeding supplies, four car seats, diaper bags, snacks, drinks, strollers and half the kitchen) recently piled into our old van, ready for a longer journey, I could see that look on the big kids’ faces. The look that said, “When, oh, when are we going to get a bigger car? Especially for our longer trips!”
“Mom, it is really squishy and uncomfortable in here.”
“Yes, my boy, I know it is.”
He scooted up as far against the window as he could get to have a bit more space.
“You know, honey, sometimes God allows us to be uncomfortable for a season. It’s a good thing! It means that He is stretching us and teaching us that sometimes life just does not go the way we hope or plan, but it’s all for our good. Perhaps He’s teaching you to be content in this van so that some day, when we are able to get a larger one, you will look back and see His faithfulness to provide.”
I long for my children to learn that the discomforts we so often feel on this earth—whether it’s being squished into a car, or something more serious—they are all part of the Father molding us and making us into who HE desires us to be.
The Refiner’s fire. Removing the impurities.
The skillful hands of the Potter. Shaping us and forming us daily.
The Master Gardener. Pruning and cutting away the deadness, the ugliness, the branches that do not produce good fruit.
And sometimes (no, most times) it hurts. It’s uncomfortable.
And we would do anything for a quick fix. Please, God!
As we drove on toward our destination, the Lord was so gracious to use that tender moment that I had with my boy to bring much-needed peace to my own searching heart. I too needed reminding that sometimes things go so very differently to what I had hoped. When we gave the Lord our word that we would go to the ends of the earth for our children, we meant it! With everything in us, we said yes to our Father in heaven!
Saying yes in faith never means it’s easy—sometimes is means hanging on for dear life and trusting that the Great I Am will get us to the other side.
Sometimes it means that life will become messy, uncomfortable, and complicated.
And that too is His perfect will.
In a few days time, we will move our large family to a much lower elevation. We will do what it takes for the sake of one in the family—simply because that precious little one matters more than words can say. The kids and I will settle into our rental (just in time for the new school year) while Anthony stays here to finish renovations, put our home on the market, and keep his job until something opens up for him in our new city. My darling husband will commute over the weekends to be with us.
And already my heart feels so tender just at the thought of it. One day away from my love is too long for me.
In faith we will follow the Lord where He leads us—we will do whatever it takes for the health of our children. But my flesh wants to just fix it, make it all perfect, so that we can all be together very soon.
Again, He whispers to my tender heart…
“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” ~~1 Peter 1:7
The journey of faith MUST get uncomfortable.
I LONG for my faith to be genuine and strong, as Peter understood.
In order for faith to grow stronger, it must be tested.
Above all else, my prayer is that my children will see Jesus through it all. They will see that this temporary discomfort we are all feeling right now is good, it’s pleasing to the Lord…because Harper is far more priceless than anything we are giving up.
And the cry of my heart is that we, as a family, understand this one thing…
He who laid down His life for each one of us…
…longs for us to do the same for one another.
No matter what consequences.
No matter what the cost.
No matter how uncomfortable it may become.
We will use the sacrificial love of Christ as our example.
Again and again and again.
Knowing full well that Jesus never promised us a life without trial. In fact, He promised us that trials absolutely would come our way! But He did also give us His solemn word that when the storms of life blow and rock us to the core, hold on tightly and don’t take your eyes off of Him. Face the raging sea and never take our eyes off of the one who is mighty to calm any storm we face. He is faithful to complete what He began in each one of us.
As for me, I’m learning a little more each day to embrace the discomforts He allows me to go through—sometimes with tears, sometimes with a yielded heart, sometimes with uncertainty, sometimes with willingness, always with the steadfast assurance that my God is faithful and that I can trust that His heart is for me and my family
Please know that if you are in a season of pressing into the Lord, of trusting Him to get you to the other side (of whatever you are facing!), of feeling so uncomfortable in your situations…I am praying for you today too. With all of my heart.
Thank you for journeying with my family. We don’t know how this story will end. But we do know the ONE who wrote it…and that is good enough for us.
“Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~~ James 1:3-4