This weekend is pretty much a blur as I look back on it.  Parts stick out in my mind clearer than others…the fall that took us to the ER… hearing the doctor say that we needed an xray of Kate’s pelvis… anticipating sending my daughter into major surgery… diligently watching monitors in recovery as we waited somewhat impatiently for the thermometer to come back around…walking in this morning after a full night’s sleep to my tired husband rolling Kate around in a wagon with wires, IV’s, and poles attached.  It was quite a whirlwind of challenge after challenge.

The world is continually searching for ways to make things easier.  Technology changes daily so that we don’t have to put up with the slightest incovenience.  We have washers and dryers for our clothes…phones and internet that go wherever we do…cars that open themselves, lock themselves, and sometimes even start themselves…lights that clap on and off…food that can be ready in less than 10 minutes…televisions that can record our favorite shows so we can watch them in our spare time…the list goes on and on.  Yet we feel more stressed than ever before in history.  We are continually trying to save time, to short cut, and to make our lives easier, but ultimately we have made them harder and more complicated.

We always blame Adam and Eve for our lives of labor, and yes, sin did bring death into the world, but before sin, the garden was not a place of leisure.  It was a place of peace and life for sure, but the Bible clearly says that God placed Adam and Eve in the garden as caretakers of it.  They were there to nurture it, to care for the animals, to walk with God and carry out His Will… we were not built for convenience…we were built for hard things.

For a long, long time, I spent my life trying to avoid hard things, being afraid of hard things, hiding from hard things, praying I wouldn’t suffer hard things, hoping that hard things were not right around the corner.  I wasted so much time worrying about hard things…feeling sorry for others going through hard things and wondering how they survived…fearing that one day hard things would be the end of me.  Yet everytime hard things overtook me, God was always there… I always survived… I always found peace at the cross… I always saw faithfulness beyond my wildest dreams.  There is something inside of us that thrives in hard situations, especially those walking hand in hand with the Holy Spirit.  We find supernatural strength and grace to help in time of need, and somehow it fulfills us more than relaxation ever can.  It drives us to do more for those around us, to spend more time with our Saviour, and to be thankful for every day that He gives us here on this earth…hard or easy.

All this to say, you may be up against some hard things… or you may be hiding from God because you fear hard things… or you may be directly ignoring God’s leading because it seems to take you right into hard things.  I want to encourage you to do what you were made for.  You will never find enough fulfillment in vacations or movie nights or girl time or sleeping in or lattes… these are nice, but you will always just want more or better.  It is in the hard things, the things that require faith and love and hope, where fulfillment is found…the things that require dependence on Someone bigger than you… the things that change you from the inside out.  There will be a better car out next year and a phone upgrade to look forward to next month. Someday you may not have to load the dishwasher or fold your laundry.  Convenience will keep vying for our time and attention and our money, but it will never be enough.  Without the hard things, we won’t find the life that we are searching for.  Without the good, honest, hard work with our minds, our hands, and our hearts, we will waste away as “lovers of pleasure”.

A year and a half ago, our life was easy.  The boys were attending a great private school, David’s company was doing okay, I had all the extra time I needed for whatever I wanted it for, our life was fairly predictable and convenient.  Then we answered the call… the call in James to orphans and widows.  Kate has shaken things up around here for sure… she has wowed us to our very core.  Adoption is a hard thing… a hard thing that has changed us.  We have decided that we LOVE hard things, and that love overshadows a multitude of hard things.  Oh, how wonderful it is to be doing what we were created for. 

Stop running from the challenges of God’s call… they are where the adventure, the passion, and the purpose of life are found.