Posts Tagged With: path

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

Our Own Set of Footprints

You can tell a lot about someone’s footprints.

No, I don’t mean what type of shoes they wear or what size their feet are. Footprints can often tell us where someone’s been… and perhaps where they are going.

Where do you see footprints most often? Typically for our family, sandy army boot footprints make their way across my kitchen. Sometimes its wet puppy paws. When I was growing up, it footprints were left in the snow. Or  on the back porch after doing cow chores outside. (You can imagine the “stuff” that was tracked in with THAT experience.)

As I woke up yesterday morning, I pondered this footprint concept when it comes to our walk with God. Most of us have heard the poem “Footprints” where a man dreams that he was walking with God along a beach. For most of the journey, there were two sets of prints– his and Gods. But at one point, there was only one set. Perplexed, the man questioned God. “Father, I though you said you would never leave or forsake me. But during the darkest times of my life, there’s only one set of footprints.” God’s reply? “My son, my precious child… It was then I carried you.”

Oh snap. Heard ya, Lord.

Just like our muddy/snowy/sandy/soggy footprints on the kitchen floor, we can tell a lot about our walk with God by looking at both His footprints and ours footprints on our path of life.

Picture the following images and think of examples from your own life:

One set of prints-– God carried us through the hard times. (For me, examples are induction into married army life, our miscarriage, other losses, challenges, dealing with the unknown.)

Our footprints are several steps ahead of Him– That’s when we are “helping” Him out, running before Him, not waiting on Him. (Uh, this was the majority of my early Christian walk. AKA, “I-get-what-I-want-when-I-want-it-ouch-I-tripped-and-fell-on-my-face.)

His steady footprints moving forward while our prints are a light, jagged, scuffed line– This could be when we are shuffling along, slower than normal, focusing on the icky-part of our journey or even being ungrateful. (Also, been there, done that– sometimes daily.)

His steady footprints are walking the path and ours are veering off, swirling around, backtracking. In this instance we are fighting for control, trying to find our own way. Or distracted. (Think: “OH LOOK SOMETHING SHINY!”)

His footprints face backwards and we see two long, deep lines in the sand/snow/mud… He has got ahold of us under the arms and around our chest (lovingly but firmly) and is dragging us along the path. (This image makes me laugh. Because it’s true. When we resist what is on the path up ahead, but He loves us enough to tug us along.)

His footprints have stopped, facing backwards… and there’s our round little keister mark in the sand. This is the point where we pout. We protest briefly, throwing our little humanly hissy fit when things don’t go our way. Fortunately, He waits it out– He doesn’t keep on walking or leave us behind. He waits.

Finally, we have the two pairs of footprints, His and ours, walking side by side… This is the ideal, when we are walking close to Him, strolling hand-in-hand. It is at this moment that we are most filled with His peace and understand (or at least embrace) the purpose He has for our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve left all these prints with God at some point within my walk with Him. (Sometimes multiple ones all in a matter of days or hours!) Lately, I’ve been doing my best to reach that ideal– giving up control, completely depending on Him for EVERYTHING and walking side-by-side.

This is true in my marriage, life, motherhood-in-progress and ministry.

Which of these “prints” are you leaving with your walk with God today? Which of these images speak to you the most? Please don’t be shy– I would love to hear from your heart. Comment below if you feel so led.

God is calling us to walk with Him by His a sweet, sweet promise to NEVER leave or forsake us. Let’s walk with Him– and leave our own set of footprints.

He Walks with Me,
SGK

“I’ve followed him closely, my feet in his footprints, not once swerving from his way. I’ve obeyed every word he’s spoken, and not just obeyed his advice—I’ve treasured it.” ~Job 23:11-12 MSG

PS: Speaking of walking side-by-side with God in ministry… He is taking me on a new path. I am blessed to have the opportunity to preach at two services (Rock Valley, IA and Seeds of Faith in Lester, IA) on Sunday, October 28th. If you are in the vicinity, we would love to see you there!!

Categories: God, path | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

When Stuck is a Good thing (Five Minute Friday)

Everybody know what time it is?

(If your first instinct was to say “TOOL TIME” that’s fine, but you would be incorrect. 🙂 )

It’s time for Five Minute Friday.

In short: Each Friday, I link up with Lisa-Jo Baker. She gives us a prompt. Then we write. For five minutes flat, no over thinking, no editing.

Simple as that.
Five Minute Friday
So, whaddya say– let’s do this!

Todays prompt: JOIN

Ready? GO

******

I keep my eyes locked, with focus few have witnessed. My fingers shake, as I try to get the tiny drop of super glue right…where…I…need…

Suddenly, I flinch. The glue misses the target by a hair, and plops on my thumb. My first instinct? Rub it off.

Usually with another finger.

Sigh. Now my fingers are instantly stuck together. I panic and pull them apart. OW!! I know that for the next day or so, I am going to have the crusty remnants of super glue stuck on my fingers. (And the drop that landed on my pants? Yeah, gonna be there forever.)

It amazes me that sometimes when we try to join something together, we miss completely and end up making a big ol’ mess.

But when God calls us to join with Him, it’s never a mistake.

We have the blessing, privilege, opportunity, whatever you want to call it, to walk with God EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. We can join together… from here to eternity.

And should we ever try to pull away from Him? Yeah, it’s gonna be more painful that trying to remove our super-glued fingers from each other.

God’s path for us, while not always understandable or clear to us, always takes us to the perfect target. The one He has planned for us.

So let’s join up with Jesus today, utilize our “spiritual superglue” and forever stick with Him.

Because sometimes… Being stuck is a good thing.

STOP!

***

That concludes another word-flowing, adrenaline filled Five Minute Friday. What did you think my friends? Are stuck on Jesus today? How do you stay close with Him? I always love the comments. Leave one below. Holla!

Have a wonderful weekend– may it be blessed!

SGK

“Everyone in the street  joined in, shouting praise to God.” ~Luke 18:43 MSG

Categories: Five Minute Friday | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: