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Posted by Lisa Lewis Koster - - 1 comments

My husband and I just returned from a wonderful weekend away at our church's marriage retreat.  We heard great speakers, had some down time, enjoyed each other's company and that of other couples from our church.

And then we came home...

Photo courtesy of Google images and  dahl.com

Why does reentry into real life have to be so difficult?

The first thing I did after our 2 hour drive home was to head into the bathroom.  I was greeted by a toilet bowl full of brown water.  I flushed, only to have it re-fill with brown water.  Then I went to the kitchen sink to get a drink of water and again it was brown.  At least Bob was home with me this time.  The last time this happened was when I returned home alone after his open-heart surgery last December.  (We never did figure out what the problem was and now - after 11 months, it's back.)

Then I heard the cat, but when I looked she wasn't at any of the exterior doors. This was not a good sign since we were gone all weekend and presumed she was outside.  A bit of searching led to her discovery in the bedroom containing our grandson's crib; a room she is technically not allowed to be in.  Evidently she spent her weekend fasting while locked in the room.  I have to say, she was VERY happy to see me!

I went to open the door to the sunroom where we usually keep her food - forgetting we had placed her food and water in the garage where we thought she was - only to discover the doorknob acted as if it was locked.  The thing is, those interior doors don't have locks. Ugh.

Finally, I went to my study to plug in my laptop but the battery wasn't charging.  I unplugged and replugged and tightened all the connections.  No luck. I'd used the computer over the weekend and it charged with no problems.  Now, however, problems!

I'd been home all of 10 minutes!

Have you ever had days like this?  Or worse?  These are all just little things, but sometimes life heaps on big things. And let me tell you, I am no stranger to the big things.

Why does life have to be so difficult?  I've come up with two answers:

1. We have an enemy. Satan is always busy trying to discourage us from following God's plan for us and is ready to punish us when we follow through. So it's not at all surprising to me that we'd come home to obstacles after spending the weekend focusing on our marriage.  This is nothing compared to the physical hurdles I face when doing ministry, whether it be a pinched nerve on my way to teach in Kansas or malaria, food poisoning (from the plane), a visit to the ER (and more!) in Kenya.

"In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." ~ 2 Timothy 3:12

2. Its primarily in the difficult times that we grow to be more Christ-like.
Given the choice, most of us would choose the easy way over the hard way every time. I shudder to think what my life would be like if God always let me take the easy way out.  Struggling is what has made me who I am today and is what will continue to shape me into who God has called me to be.  

"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us." ~ Romans 5:3-5

Just as gold must be refined in the fire and diamonds are formed under immense pressure, so we are purified through the difficulties we face.  

"I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.  They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, "They are my people," and they will say, "The Lord is our God." ~ Zechariah 13:9

It's when I'm in the midst of circumstances beyond my control and my capabilities that I learn to rely on God.  

"We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life...But this happened so that we might not rely on ourselves but on God." ~ 1 Corinthians 1:8-9

I've learned that God uses these seasons of suffering to strip my life of what's unnecessary and put my focus on Him. Once these extraneous things are gone, I've found it much easier to continue on without them as opposed to trying to eliminate them in my own strength.  The result is a much closer relationship with God.

"Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your Teacher will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see Him." ~ Isaiah 30:20

So, why is life hard?  Because it's supposed to be!  

Rather than looking at these things as obstacles in our way of getting things done, we should look at them as a part of life that helps transform us into the image of Jesus.

Lord, I thank you for loving me enough to want the best for me even though it means I will have to struggle and even suffer. I'm so thankful for how far you've brought me and how much closer I am to You.  Forgive me for all the time I've wasted complaining and fighting against you and help me to cooperate with You. Open my eyes to see what it is You're trying to teach me through these events, that I would continue to grow more and more into your likeness.


I've been known to link up with: Living Proverbs 31, Soli Deo GloriaInspire Me MondayTitus 2sdaysTell Me a StoryTeach Me TuesdaysCourtship Connection, Into the BeautifulGod Bumps & God IncidencesWord-Filled WednesdayWinsome WednesdaySimply Helping Him, Weekend Whatever, Spiritual Sundays, True Vine Challenge, Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday, The Beauty in His Grip, Playdates With God, Inspire, Thrive at Home, Knick of Time, Hope in Every Season, Funky Junk Interiors, Frugal Friday, Inspire Me Please, Feathered Nest Friday, What Have You Redone, Home Sweet HomeThrifty Things Friday, DIY Sunday Showcase , Think Pink Sundays

One Response so far.

  1. Wow! What a way to come home! I'd hate to know what your grandson's room looked like after the cat had been in it all weekend, poor kitty. :) I love the image you shared, so true, and it made me laugh! You have a great perspective, and I'll say that the times I grew the most were in those difficulties. Those times really did draw me closer to him. God is good, even in the trials of life. :) Thanks for sharing!

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