I don’t like to suffer, I don’t want to work at something, I don’t want to be patient, I don’t want to struggle, I don’t want to hurt, I don’t want to fail…..I WANT my easy button.
I am spoiled, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that is….we’ve become accustomed to the instant answer and the quick fix.
This attitude has crept into our spiritual lives as well…how often do we try to turn God into our “easy button”, praying for Him to take a situation away, to remove the hurt, to get us out of something that seems to have gone wrong…or seems to be more effort than we expected. We treat our faith as some “magic spell” that we hope takes all the “bad” away…then we throw tantrums, get angry with God…when He “doesn’t come through for us.” At least, I have reacted that way…from what I’ve seen, heard and read…I’m sure others have as well.
Several years ago I let that whole “angry with God because it ain’t easy” spin way out of control…and I stayed there. Or more accurately I tried to stay there, God had different plans. I give thanks that our God is faithful, that He holds on to our right hand and is there to help us (Isaiah 41:13). He brought me to a place where I could see the “easy” that I’d wanted was no answer. In trying to make things “easy,” I had glossed over and stuffed the pain, the hurts. Never dealing with them. I was taking the toxic stuff I hadn’t dealt with and trying to dump it within myself….but those “containers” corrode and the toxic leaks out….taking the form of bitterness, shame, and anger.
That’s what trying to go the easy way gets us…unprocessed toxic crap. We walk around prisoners of our grudges (unforgiveness), shackled by hurts we’ve never allowed to scar over and heal, continually going back to what we did wrong and beating ourselves up over it. Exhausted from keeping guard on all the pains that people have caused that we’ve not let go, easily offended by the littlest things…because the toxic crap keeps us on the edge.
Not only did God bring me to a place where I had to dig out my personal toxic dump, He also provided help (as He promises) along the way. His word, other believers, and biblically sound books I “somehow” stumbled upon. Out of that time, there was a set of verses that both comforted and challenged me:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5, ESV)
He comforts us in all our affliction…and in doing so, He’s equipping us to be used by Him to comfort others. And as we comfort others with the comfort we ourselves were comforted by God…we build relationships – with other believers as God uses us to help heal and strengthen and with non-believers as God uses us to share His love with them.
We’re to keep coming alongside others to disciple, to witness, to strengthen, to comfort, to build up…and this is what WE are to do…not wait for others to do it, not to shirk it off because it’s difficult. We won’t be effective for Him if we’re only doing the “church” thing on Sunday morning…how can we be used to transform lives, if we’re not living a transformed life ourselves. No, it’s ain’t easy….but then do we really want to settle for “easy”?