Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's Not Supposed to Be Easy

Some things in life can knock us off track before we even have a chance to get started. Expectations are like that for me. It's easy for me to have expectations and to allow myself to be guided by what happens to my expectations. For example, I expect my children to behave a certain way. Expectations met? Wonderful; what a great day! But unmet expectations in any little thing could derail my whole day. That's no way to live.

Here's a big expectation for me: It's supposed to be easy. If I were good at what I do- if I were a good Christian- then being a wife and mom would be easy. I wouldn't struggle with being content. I wouldn't struggle with finding my joy in Jesus instead of my circumstances. I wouldn't struggle with selfishness.

But you won't find that expectation in the Bible. The Bible speaks of taking up our cross, dying to self, mortifying the deeds of the flesh, persevering in adversity. It never mentions only doing things that feel good or that you enjoy. Or even that living a life that honors Christ is easy.

You're not necessarily doing anything wrong if it's not easy. This realization is reassuring beyond measure to me. I always assumed that if it was hard or I struggled then I was doing something wrong. Or there was something wrong with me. That's a crippling expectation because I find that doing this work God has placed before me isn't easy. It's not easy to be a wife as the Bible defines a wife. It's not easy to be a mom that loves, teaches, and trains her babies. It's not easy to strive to be the lady that's outlined in the Bible.

We can see this principle in all areas of life. The activities that bring results aren't easy. Working out isn't supposed to be easy; sitting on the couch is easy. Ever tried Insanity?  People push through the hard for the results they get.

Life's like that too. Mothering, marriage, jobs, relationships aren't necessarily supposed to be easy. Some days I have to make myself do the things I don't want to. (And fake a smile while I'm at it.)

Some days it's hard.

So many days I think "Wow, this is not easy." And then I remind myself it's not supposed to be and it takes so much pressure off myself.  It can be hard. That's ok. God knows that I appreciate being a wife and a mother even while I acknowledge that it can be hard. It doesn't mean I'm not trying to be godly or thankful or loving.

But God is using those hard days to make me better. He's using those days to bring results in my life- to make me more like Jesus.

The goal is for me to look like Jesus (Philippians 1:21). Not for life to be easy. I am God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), His masterpiece. He is sculpting me into something useful, productive, and beautiful.  Sculptors use tools like sandpaper, chisels, and hammers. I don't know about you but I would rather prop my feet up on a velvet stool and be pampered than to be molded with sandpaper and chisel. But God has an Image in mind to guide Him and He is working on me. Velvet doesn't seem to bring about much change.

Don't stop because it's hard. Know your Bible principles and follow them regardless of how you feel. Relieve yourself of your expectations and remind yourself that it's ok if it's hard.

It's supposed to be hard.

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