I’m part of the praise band in church, and we’re singing a song this week called "Have Thine Own Way, Lord". One particular verse struck me as odd – almost crazy!
Have Thine own way, Lord,
Have Thine own way
Test me and try me,
I don’t believe there’s ever been a day where I wake up and said, "Ok, God, make today really hard. Test me and give me trials. Just beat me up, I’m begging you."
No, I’m usually like, "Ugh. My back hurts. Ah, look at my hair! It looks like those parrots at Petco. God, please help Mom forget about school today and please shut up those kids; I want to sleep a bit longer."
(And then I’d think of Daniel when he was thrown in the lion’s den. Except, I was Daniel and the lions were screaming siblings disrupting the peace. Then God closed their mouths to save me. The end.)
Anyway, I’m pretty sure you’ve never asked God to make today especially difficult and miserable. As humans, our nature is to live on our own terms and to live life as easily as we can with as little difficulty. When we begin life, like a video game, we’re sissies. We want to "play" on "Easy" mode, but that’s not always possible, and I’ve learned its not always the best choice for you.
I’m not going to tell you to ask God to make your life a chore. No, that’s not right. I’m just wondering – what would happen to us if we never had a challenge? If life was always easy? Where would we end up? How could we accomplish anything? Why would we be living in the first place?
Think about it. We wouldn’t have kids, because kids are hard to handle. Because no one would have kids, you wouldn’t even be alive. But say you were alive. Then what? You wouldn’t ever get in a serious relationship, because love is complicated, right? You’d have no friends, because caring for someone and giving up what you want for them – that’s too hard. You wouldn’t have a job, because work is hard, so you wouldn’t have any money. I could go on and on.
You see, sometimes it’s good to be pushed. Rise up to the challenge of really living! An easy life isn’t really a life at all. It’s only through trials that we grow. We learn to rise above the things that tear us down, making us stronger, better, smarter, wiser, kinder.
Every day this month, just try this quick prayer bit. Ask God, before you get out of bed each morning, to challenge you in some way. At the end of the month, think about what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown. You’ll be surprised!
(P.s.: When you’re on God’s side, you can overcome anything!)