Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Good vs. Easy

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." --Romans 8:28

That's a standard verse we use to assure ourselves and others that "everything will be all right." But there are times where everything does not turn out all right. Life remains hard. Our losses are so deep. Pressures multiply. Life grows more complicated, and one cannot help but wonder, "Where's that 'good' we were promised?"

But are we genuinely looking for "good" or do we really just want "easy."

When we decided to adopt our son, the various social service officials that we dealt with in the process raised their eyebrows when they learned all our kids would be the same age. They'd sigh and say, "This won't be easy."

Are the most significant things in our lives necessarily easy?

And yet, "easy" is what we long for in the modern age. After all, we have machines to wash our clothes and our dishes. We have microwaves and crockpots for maximum ease in food preparation. We have countless cleaning gadgets and products to make life's menial tasks simpler.

We have come to believe the terms "good" and "easy" are synonymous. And it has infected all aspects of our lives, including the way we pray. Think about it. How do we approach God in prayer. What do we ask for -- both for ourselves and others? Our prayer requests focus little on our character development and more on telling God what to do to make our lives easier.

Oswald Chambers warned of this tendency in his day: "Beware of thinking that intercession means bringing our own personal sympathies and concerns into the presence of God and then demanding that He do whatever we ask."

Indeed, we pray that God would make something happen. We pray that God would not let something happen. We give Him our list of demands. Tell him how to solve our problems and everyone else's.

What happened to the the humble prayer of "thy kingdom come, THY will be done"?

God's will for our lives and this world is the ultimate good. And if He is after your best interest, life probably won't be easy. But that doesn't mean it won't be good. Think about the most beautiful testimonies or life stories you've ever read or heard? Were they stories of "an easy life" or stories of a relationship with God forged through hardships and suffering?

To pursue "the good life" is to seek relationship with God.

This is our primarily calling. THIS is what we were created for!

If we can grasp this fundamental concept, then we can stop approaching prayer as some cosmic tool we use to try to control the circumstances beyond our control. And maybe we can let prayer be what it was meant to be: a vehicle for building relationship with our Lord, a tool for letting Him change us.

Maybe then, we will be able to let go of our demands for an easier life and genuinely commune with God in the spirit of: "THY will be done."


Lidia said...

Thanks.I needed to read this today.I think we also want to receive things from God which are "ready".Not sure how much we want to be part of the actual process in preparing something.I know I don't like being in the process...

Mike and Nancy Juntunen said...

Great article, Trudy! I believe God is trying to speak to the church in America telling us that it is NOT about us, but about Him and His Kingdom. The question is, are we listening?

gg said...

spot on again!!
when i started to read the first paragraphs i was thinking to myself: it's like reading OC :D and lo and behold! :D:D
thanks Trudy for looking under the surface again

taniad1992 said...

So true! May we desire a life that counts for Christ rather than a life that is easy. 1 Peter 1 and James 1 talk about this same thing...that trials refine and purify us so that our faith is proved genuine and will bring praise, honor and glory to Christ.