I always choose the easiest route possible to my destination. If I can get their faster by traveling a longer distance, I will choose the faster road. I don’t want things to be hard. I don’t want to take the hard road.
The United States has become a place of the “easy way.” Our media is filled with easy diets, easy way to clean the house, easy health remedies etc. There are thousands of “easy ways” to achieve any goal. I have tried lots of “easy ways,” and none of them have given me their promised results. The magic diet pill never worked. I was continually left frustrated and defeated. Slowly, I started to learn that the hard road was the only road.
The hard road is just that-hard. When you choose an alternate path to health, people chastise you. When you go against the medical norm, it’s labeled voodoo. When you take the job for the mission and not the paycheck, you are going to live in poverty. When you choose to live simply and go without, you are wired.
As I have made many lifestyle changes over the years with my diet, my approach to health and my professional choices, I have faced all of those labels and a few more. I have experienced obstacles and frustrations, but every time I have learned more about myself and my God. I recently had to tell my son’s pediatrician that we were pursuing a different treatment for his headaches than her recommendation. I braced myself. I expected to be chastised for our choice. History had taught me to expect that. Thankfully, this time was different and she supported our decision.
Choosing to follow the road God sets before us is hard. No matter what that road is there will be challenges, tough climbs, and rocky ledges. Sometimes I head backwards for awhile. Sometimes I go off trail. All of these obstacles have strengthened me and I believe they will strengthen you too. All the while God is directing me back to the road set before me and cheering me on as in this letter from the Apostle Paul to Timothy.
You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming. (2 Timothy 4:6-8 MSG).
God is the judge we need to answer to and the rest of us need to practice the ministry of encouragement. The hard road is the one before us. Let’s go climb it.
What are your challenges on the hard road? How is God guiding and directing your steps? Breathe life and bring hope to others by sharing your encouragement here.