Posts Tagged With: Christian

Hardly Easy

There it sits. Staring you right in the face. Your heart starts to pound. Your mind begins to race.

Should you grab the donut or opt for a fruit cup? Would it be ok to sneak a peek at the answer key to an upcoming test or spend hours studying? Will you turn in the lost wallet with all the cash or take a “tip” for yourself beforehand? Shall you strap on your tennis shoes and head to the gym for a work out or stay planted on the couch? Are you going to stay snuggled under the covers for a few more minutes of snoozing or peel yourself out of bed for some quiet time with the Lord?

You must make a choice… but what will it be??

So... what's it gonna be?

So… what’s it gonna be?

It’s a constant battle of easy versus hard.

And the bottom line choice is hardly easy.

On the one hand, the at-the-tip-of-easy choice seems to be just that– easy. Right there. Quick fix. Enjoyable. Instant gratification.

But then your blessed conscience (or Jesus) enters stage left and complicates the whole situation.

We all know what we SHOULD do… but following through on it is a whole different ballgame.

Now, this post is not intended to be a guilt-inducing post. I mean, after all– we all need a donut and some snuggly couch time now and again. But the purpose of this post is to acknowledge that doing the right thing is hardly ever easy.

You’ve heard that saying “Anything worth doing doesn’t come easy.”

How true (and sometimes frustrating!) that is!

Making the “hard choice” is good for us in the long run– but sometimes it seems super lame in the moment.

Being a legit and genuine Christian is “hard-ly easy…” It requires dedication, sacrifice, grace (lots and lots of grace) and perseverance.

Heck, if it were easy, EVERYBODY would do it– and I wouldn’t need to be involved in ministry at all. But here’s the great news… Christ understands what it is like to make the tough choice.

Let’s look at the “hardly easy” choices that Christ made on our behalf. He chose to be obedient and leave His Father’s side to come to earth. He chose to go against the flow of the world, to stand up for what God instructed Him to do. He never wavered. Even in the garden, the night before He was captured to be crucified  (on our behalf) He made the most difficult, sacrificial, non-easy choice of His earthly life. He said “God, I would really appreciate it if I didn’t have to go through with this. I really don’t want to hang on the cross, be briefly separated from you and die– but if that’s the bottom line choice you want me to make, it’s hardly an easy one… but I will do it because I love you and I love ALL your children.” (That’s my very loose paraphrase… 🙂 )

So He did. Christ made His choice. He was obedient to the Father, even though it cost Him His life. And it sure wasn’t easy. But if you ask Him… I guarantee He will say it was worth it.

Because He loves you THAT much. Just that thought alone should be encouragement enough for us to not only talk the Christian talk– but walk the Christian walk.

What choices do you struggle with the most? What do you think the hardest thing about being a genuine Christian is? What is most rewarding?

Jesus fully understands our struggles and choices. The choice to follow Him is hard-ly easy– but as hard as it seems, it sure is worth it!

Making the choice today for Him,
SGK

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” ~Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

Categories: Christ | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Not-so-lonely Road

We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives.

That moment of heart-heaviness. It feels like we are surrounded by darkness. We might be by ourselves or in a crowd of people.

Either way… we just feel straight up lonely.

Lonely, at least in my personal opinion, is one of the most un-fun places to be. Now, true loneliness is a heart issue and is very different from intentional solitude. We all need some “alone time” every now and then, whether it is to rest, recharge, reflect or just  BE.

But being lonely, especially in our hearts, can be a painful and scary place.

Honestly, as a Christian and army wife, I sometimes feel a bit alone in my walk.

Sure it looks long and lonely... but it's not. He promises.

Sure it looks long and lonely… but it’s not. He promises.

This happens frequently when we move to a new place or my husband is gone for an extended amount of time. When we first moved to Georgia, the first several months were some definite lonely-heart moments. Just me, the dog… and the enemy, duking it out in our living room.

Lemme tell ya what… It was exhausting. And way not fun.

Now before you get all up in my Kool-aid about Jesus always being with us, I know that is true. And I drew a lot of strength from Him in those moments. But He has also designed us to be in community.

Recently, I was having a conversation around this topic with great friend and fellow army wife, Sam, while we hung out on an impromptu Sonic date. (Sometimes the best revelations come over milkshakes and cherry limeades.) We talked about the struggle we face when battling this lonely feeling… because while God calls us to live in community, we have to be careful where we plant ourselves.

After all, we are called to be IN the world but not OF the world. (John 15:19) Great theory, super hard to live out. It’s a fine freaking line, one that I have yet to completely figure out. Sometimes, especially in the military realm of life, some of the things aren’t exactly productive for our Christian hearts or minds. Instead, we are exposed to negative seeds that try to take root. (And let’s be honest– the same thing can be said for ALL areas of the world… it’s a fallen world. We have to deal with it. SIGH.)

So whats a gal (or guy) to do in those lonely moments?

First of all, we can pray. Like, a lot. We can beg for Jesus’ presence to fill us up, to be the light in darkness as we battle the heart-lonely feeling. Also, we can recognize when the enemy is trying to attack. (More than likely, he’s lurking– so watch out!) We can surround ourselves with others who build us up– Christians who are genuine in their walk with words, love AND deeds, so that when we are called to go out into the world and walk a new path (military or otherwise) we can be IN the world and not OF it… We can cling to our strong, solid roots in Christ.

Oh, and we can take heart knowing that we aren’t alone in our struggle. So many people, just like you (and me) struggle with this lonely-heart feeling that rears its ugly stinkin’ head from time to time.

Christ understands our struggles. After all, He was alone on that cross when He took His final breath for you and me.

Take heart, dear friends. Christians before and after you have felt the same thing you might be feeling right now. While it might seem like a long path, remember that with Christ and fellow Christians, our path is a not-so-lonely road.

Hand in Hand with Him,
SGK

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” ~John 15:19 NIV

PS: Where or when do you find yourself most lonely? How does Christ show up in those moments? Let us know– comment below.

Categories: heart | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Treasure Hunting

We were on a mission.

We had changed into our “play clothes.” We had our plastic shovel and bucket in hand. Time to get down to serious business.

We were going treasure hunting.

“Treasure hunting” was one of my sister and I’s favorite activities when we were younger. In fact, it ranks right up there with tormenting each other. Specifically: me convincing her that the flower blooms on our bushes where actually “wild broccoli,” thus she should consume them for nutritional reasons, as well as daring her lick the frozen iron handrail on the front porch as the school bus came down the driveway. (Both instances resulted in the first two times I got grounded. Ah, memories.)

But seriously. Treasure hunting was one of our most beloved shared experiences. I was secretly convinced that at any given moment of walking, digging and exploring, we would have a “Huck Finn” moment and discover a chest filled with coins and riches beyond our wildest imagination.

Most of the time, however, our treasures would come in a different form. And we always had to share them with Mama.

After our journey, my sister and I would trudge home with our loot… and dump it on the back porch for Mama’s amazement annoyance. Or better yet, we might just dump it in the front yard so the lawn mower could rediscover it in a few days when Daddy mowed the grass… (Which in turn lead to me rediscovering the fun of being grounded. Notice a pattern here? I was such a sweet child.)

Our treasures typically included rusted, ancient farm equipment, nails, cool looking rocks, fossils, weird looking bugs and the occasional orphaned animal (Primarily: baby rabbits and baby birds. Although I once got bitten by a chipmunk. But in my defense, I didn’t expect to actually catch it.)

Over the last couple of decades, our idea of treasure has changed quite a bit. The first (and only) time I got a real diamond was my engagement ring. I treasure the security of that constant military paycheck. I treasure my warm house, decent clothes, and ever plenty food supply.

But in the grand scheme of things, those “treasures” are equivalent to the rusted farm equipment and random rocks. Because we can find our true treasure in relationship. Relationship with our spouse. Relationship with one another. Relationship with our family. And most of all, relationship with our God.

I have been treasure hunting with and for Jesus for nearly three decades. Every day, I discover something new and exciting in my relationship with Him. We are on a treasure hunt, one that gives us more riches and rewards than our 7-year-old hearts would have ever dreamt possible when hauling that plastic shovel and bucket.

Where does your treasure lie? Is your heart set on things of this world, or are you on a constant treasure hunt to deepen your relationship with Christ?

What do you treasure most about Jesus? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment here… and share your Jesus treasure hunting discoveries.

Hitting the Jackpot with Jesus,

SGK

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

Categories: childhood, Christ, fulfillment, treasure | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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