The Easy and the Hard: (and a Confession)

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our final meeting together as Mission Hope Church. We called it a graduation — all of us now going out more equipped and ready to love.

I have a confession.

I’ve caught myself occasionally believing some whacked theology.

Don’t freak out.  🙂

First, do you agree that there’s a difference between knowing and believing?  I think most of us would say yes, there’s a difference. For example:

We might know our spouse loves us.  But some days we just don’t believe it.

We might know everything [in the end] is going to turn out ok.  But on an off afternoon, we may believe differently.

All of us are in a constant state of fighting between what we know and what we believe. We might have moments, days, or months when our knowledge trumps our belief, and vise versa.

A few months ago I sat on my couch with a dear girlfriend with whom I had been privileged to help plant a church.  Her husband was the planting pastor.  They very clearly heard the Lord telling them to plant a church in our city.  It was confirmed by several people and so they courageously stepped out in faith to follow God’s leading.  Much beauty came from our church of 150 people.  In the end, after three laborious, lovely years, the church could not sustain itself.

The question we asked in our grief, was God not in it, then?  

Meanwhile, across town and several miles away, another church, booming with attendance and cash flow, recently completed a renovation to its building.  Significant funds came through.  People stepped up.  Does that mean God supports this church’s effort, but not the other one?  

You see, I had come to believe {on occasion} (that I didn’t even know I sometimes believed until these events occurred) that if things went easily, if doors opened swiftly and without confusion, if things looked like success, God was in it.  Conversely, I believed if things were hard, if the door was impossible to open, if it hurt, if it required a crowbar or taking the hinges off, clearly God was not in it.

He provided the money!  God must be in it.

He provided a job!  God must be in it.

He healed!  God must be in it.

On the other hand, when the fog thickened at my knocking knees, when my sight became blurry and the path impossible to navigate, when things did not come through as we hoped and prayed, when I felt isolated and abandoned, then, I believed, God must not be in it.

I would think to myself:

Would it be this hard if God wanted it?

Would it be this painful if God ordained it?   

((sigh))

Let me just say, it is possible that the Devil can make things easy.  And it is possible that God can make things hard.   

Of course you know this!  I knew it too. But do you believe it?

Sometimes the hard things are the God-ordained ones.  Sometimes He wants us to kick a door down.

Sometimes the easy things are distractions meant to lure us into a comfortable Christianity.  And the doors that open without a challenge actually lead to the joyless grey town.

We don’t know what is success and what isn’t.  

    2 COMMENTS

  • Susan Tweedy September 8, 2014 Reply

    Love this post, Karen! (Though you had me a bit scared at the start of it – ha! =) I’ve thought a lot about this very subject…

    • Karen September 8, 2014 Reply

      Don’t be scared, Tweedygirl. 🙂

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