I heard on a radio talk show recently that some non Christians believe that the life of a Christian is quite easy. The discussion quickly turned that theory upside down and inside out. The life of a follower of Christ IS NOT EASY!
Some non Christians think that as followers of Christ, we are given this life that has no problems, no worries, and an iron clad guarantee of the "perfect" life.
How wrong they are...
I know first hand, as many other's will also confess I'm sure, that being a Christian is very difficult. I feel like I am constantly at war with sin and the temptations that come with living in a sin filled world. I struggle with maintaining a strong relationship with God that isn't filled with a bunch of whining about how bad things are and why won't He change them. Don't get me wrong now. I do go to God with all of my whining and complaining, but I have to try really hard to remember to praise Him and thank Him for the infinite blessings He has given me. I have to try really hard to remember to thank Him for NOT giving me my way. I have to try really hard sometimes to keep the little girl that still lives inside of me from stomping her foot, crossing her arms and holding her breath until she gets her way. She has no place here. That is how I feel sometimes though, especially when I long for something and it simply isn't in God's will for me.
That's how I feel when I am faced with choices that I KNOW are NOT God's way, but it's something that I want. I struggle with making the choice that I KNOW God wants me to make. I struggle with letting go of the worldly or human desire to have my way, especially when it's something that I have longed for. I struggle with accepting that while it may be in God's will for me some day, today is not the day.
I don't like being told, "No"...or "Not right now"...or "We'll see"...or "Maybe later".
I am still that little girl who wants to throw a temper fit when she doesn't get her way. I really don't like admitting that. I really don't like acknowledging that part of myself.
It is hard to choose that path that God wants you to take. It is even more difficult to keep facing forward once you have chosen God's path. All I keep doing lately is looking back at the path not taken and wishing I had taken that path instead. Even though I KNOW I chose the path God wanted me to take!
Remember that story of Lot's wife... God instructed them not to turn around and look back. Lot's wife did and she paid for her disobedience.
I need to stop looking back. I need to look forward and keep my eyes trained on God. The looking back at the path not taken isn't doing me any good. It is causing me unnecessary heartache. It is causing me to doubt that God has a plan for me: a plan that is full of hope and a future.
I have to steel myself against the temptations of the path not taken. I am finding that, even though I didn't take that path, it is running parallel to God's path. The more times I look back at that path, the closer it seems to get. Sometimes, the path not taken seems to be just a step to the left or a step to the right. It would be so easy to step off of the path of God and step onto the path of What Kristy Wants instead.
What keeps me from stepping onto Kristy's Way? Right now, the simple knowledge that I would be disobeying God. Would you ever admit to praying for God to give you permission to sin? because it was something you wanted so badly you thought you would simply come apart if you didn't get it?
I'll admit to it. I realized as I was praying this completely human, flesh-filled, selfish prayer, that I was asking, even begging, God to give me permission to do something I knew was wrong in His eyes. Guess what?! There is nothing like God bringing you to your knees (and senses) when you are wholly in the flesh when you are praying. I don't know that I have ever felt so ashamed before God as I did when I realized the truth about my "prayer".
I do know that I don't ever want to feel that way again. I also know that it is a struggle to accept the forgiveness that God gives freely when asked for it. I also know that living the life that God calls His children to live is very difficult. It seems to me that the temptation to take the path of... "least resistance", or "my way", or "this is something I have longed for", or "I'm only going to go this way for a little while", or WHATEVER our human flesh wants to call it to make us feel better about disobeying God... is always going to be there. The struggle is not only making the choice that God would have me to make, but also trusting Him enough with my choice so that I don't keep looking back.
I know this is coming out of left field, but it's something that has been on my heart for a while. I am finally ready to follow another one of God's paths and share this struggle. Maybe now He will let me be at peace about some of this.
We may not know where God's Path will take us, but we do know where it WON'T!