“You can do it the hard way. You go right ahead and do it the hard way. Sure.”
Those words were said to me awhile back in reference to my struggle against some things that God is doing in my life. They came from a gal I love dearly. I’m involved in a Women’s Group at church. We aren’t your typical “My life is perfect, I’m the perfect Christian lady, but would you look at her…” (eyebrows raised) group either. We’re more the “So, I’m a mess…and by the way, God’s way sure seems to suck right now, pass me some of that licorice” kind of group. Kleenex box pretty much has my name on it…although it does get passed around a bit. We are all different, with distinct personalities, a nice blend of different seasons of life, and varying opinions on any given topic. And yet, God has woven our hearts together in an incredible way that only He is capable of doing. I love each one of them with a fierce and loyal love, and I’m convinced they feel the same. It is a safe place to love God and live real life together (with all of its struggles and heartache). We pray for each other. We laugh. We cry. We love enough to speak truth to one another. I think Jesus’ words in John 13:34-35 have pretty much become reality in our group. I’m blessed beyond words to have them.
So, the question is…did I choose to “do it the hard way”? She wasn’t recommending it (opposite actually), just sharing from a “been there done that” kind of way. Sparkly eyes and laughing as she said it. God does let us choose that option, doesn’t He…to fight Him all the way. To fight a ridiculous battle that always ends in full surrender and wishing we would have just chosen to surrender sooner. (It is usually much slower and more painful too.) Fighting a God who loves us so deeply and whose plan is always the best. Now, all that being said, you better believe I chose the hard way. 🙂 (I say that making fun of my stubbornness. I figure I can either laugh and poke fun at myself or sob hopelessly. As long as God doesn’t give up on me, I prefer to laugh and keep moving forward.) And it’s been rough but an adventure. I surrender, then undo my surrender (kind of in a “psych, God…I really don’t want to give up that control yet” sort of way. Uh, saying “psych” was kind of a “thing” in my Jr. High days). And then have to re-surrender it–it’s exhausting. 😉 But I believe Psalm 139. I believe God’s love for me is incredible and that His patience for me is never ending. He knows my ultimate desire is to seek Him, to surrender fully, and live in a way that brings Him glory. His way is HARD. Super tough. We have to deny ourselves, push aside our desires, forgive really deep hurts, love others as He loves us (what?!), and let Him refine and shape us so that we can love Him with all of our soul, mind, heart, and strength. Hard? Yes. Worth it? Totally! And He helps us with every step.
A friend wrote last night, “The picture I got tonight as I was praying for you was of an anchor hanging down from above and you have both hands on it, hanging on with all your might.” Now, that is a picture! I love that. THAT is my life right now. And that anchor sure isn’t a shiny metal one. Jesus is the anchor. And I know that no matter how hard my grip is on Him (I’m talking a white knuckle grip here), His hold on me is way stronger. In fact, if my grip fails entirely, He’s got me. He does not grow weary. Weakness does not exist in our God. My money’s on Him. I have no doubt that He will bring me through this storm. Is there a storm raging around you too? Find this anchor, and cling to Him. And, I’d suggest going the easy route and just doing things His way. However, “You can do it the hard way. You go right ahead and do it the hard way. Sure.” He will be faithful throughout the storm. He isn’t leaving me behind, and He sure won’t leave you.
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10