Sometimes I find myself wondering why things can’t just be easier.
Like if we serve an Omnipotent and Omniscient God, why is discipleship such a strenuous and challenging endeavor? And considering the power of our Creator, how are there ever even bad days? And why do difficult circumstances even exist? Why is there suffering?
After some difficult news this morning I read the Bible verse in Jeremiah 29 that says that His plans are to “prosper and not to harm” and “to give you hope and a future”. While I wholeheartedly believe this to be true, I began thinking about how sometimes those plans do feel like harm. Those plans almost regularly feel more like struggles than victories. And a lot of times, these circumstances make me doubt more than have hope. How does this make sense? So I continued reading and read the words, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek me with all your heart.” In the words of my roommate, BOOM!
It all clicked. Yes, my God, always has a plan. And because the result of that plan is an eternity in a “dwelling place He has prepared for me in glory” that plan has hope. But right now, I am in the journey. That journey, similar to Jesus’ is not meant to be easy, in fact the very opposite has been prescribed, in order that, I will SEEK the Lord. If Jesus never had difficult circumstances, He might would have never had to go to the garden to spend time alone with His Heavenly Father. In the same way, if we constantly have what is easy and what is comfortable, why would we seek the Lord?
Second, I repeatedly hear the words “with all your heart”. Have you ever trusted someone with all your heart? I feel like when I begin to answer that question my mind immediately goes to times I was stabbed in the back by people I trusted, or let down by people I had faith in. How fallen are our thoughts… We were created (before the fall) to be able to trust with all of our hearts, to be free from walls of solitude or guardedness because of sin and unforgiveness. But yet, here we are. And doing anything with all our hearts just seems to be asking to be let down. WHAT A LIE OF THE ENEMY! Our redemptive and loving God not only created but deserves ALL of our hearts. He deserves to be seeked no matter the cost.
Have you ever done a team building activity with a stranger? I can think of a time when I had to do a high ropes course with a friend I didn’t know too well yet. I was so scared and the course became more and more challenging along the way. We went from having boards to walk across to having only cables to walk along, almost 3 stories in the air. On the ground, my friend and I could easily hold a conversation, but once we were in the air and had nothing else to hold onto, we were glued at the hip and dependent on each other for every move. I think the Lord does this to us sometimes. If we are in our comfort zone (for me, on the ground!) then yes we can still have a relationship with God but how deep is it? Then He pulls the ground out from underneath our feet because then we HAVE to trust Him with all of our heart. We have no option but to seek Him! Is this manipulative? No, this is the greatest love there ever was. Because we don’t even know how to seek and find, how to trust and prove our Heavenly Father.
So these circumstances that seem the farthest from prosperous and hopeful, are instances when we are learning to seek and to find. And upon seeking with all of our heart, we find our Hope, our Heavenly Father, our Refuge.