By Julia Amting
We all face struggles on a daily basis. Our hearts and minds struggle continually with certain mundane things that we don’t want to do, or with deep pain and heartbreak. For example, there are days that I get up, and I don’t want to go to work because I am simply sad that day. I go to school, looking at the clock to go to the next class, just so I can look at the clock again. We dread working on certain assignments, having necessary conversations, and facing difficult situations. We become endlessly frustrated, because life very very rarely seems to be easy. We enter so many situations with the best of intentions, but our minds or bodies loudly protest because of our spiritual or physical tiredness.
Often, if we seek what is good, and find it, we usually find that it is difficult. Being real, attempts at a good prayer life can feel unrewarding or just seem to require a lot of effort. We get so discouraged in our struggles, and lose sight of Jesus within them, wondering why it all has to be so hard all the time. If doing what is ultimately good for us, and pleasing to the Lord, is the right thing, why is it so difficult? If the Lord is so very good, why does he make life so very hard at times? Is the spiritual discipline and the work required to be a good, healthy, prayerful, and successful person really worth all of this trouble and pain we can’t seem to escape from? Through this very natural and human way of thinking, it is easy to fall into a sort of spiritual depression, where there really seems to be very little joy in living for God and seeking true righteousness. So is a life lived striving for goodness and success really worth it? Is God truly good?
The answer to this is a resounding yes. Although nobody ever said that a life lived in Christ is easy, this type of life is the only one that will truly fulfull us. We must learn to embrace the problems we have, the crosses we were given to carry, the feelings and situations we long to run away from only because it’s easier to do so. We must learn to say yes to the life that we are given, including the problems, the difficult feelings, and the inconveniences of everyday life.
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will save it”
/// Luke 9:23-24 ///