Life is supposed to be easy. Times get tough, and we look for the proverbial easy button to push…at least that’s what the commercials tell us. So what happens when easy doesn’t work?
We all too often rationalize ways to give-in to avoid suffering of any kind. I once counseled a woman who was trying to lose weight. I remember how she considered her suffering near-martyr status because she ate only six donuts instead of the whole bag!
Reality check: life isn’t easy. It hurts to resist temptation, to say “no” to our wants and desires, to inflict pain on our self-indulgence. As Pope Benedict noted in one of his final addresses, “It is not easy to be faithful to Christian marriage, to practice mercy in our everyday lives, or to leave space for prayer and inner silence. It is not easy to publicly oppose the decisions that many consider to be obvious….”
We need to be better prepared when life takes hard turns. If we haven’t yet experienced the “fiery ordeal” Peter warned us about, we most likely will in the days ahead. And let’s be honest, standing up for our beliefs is becoming increasingly challenging in our culture. Our job of speaking the truth in love takes more and more courage, less and less self-preservation.
Another reality check: those fiery ordeals-in the end-make us more like Christ. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Our pain is heaven’s gain, just as it was for the Lord.
So until the day when we are made complete, we ought to expect life in a fallen world to be hard. And although there’s no easy button, we have access to something far more powerful….I call it the surrender button. As we give our troubles to the Lord, he promises to sustain us. No quick fixes, just peace that passes understanding. Peace that enables us to do life, no matter how demanding. Peace which assures us of the eternal truth that…
Although life is hard-God is good.