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This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery
“[It is] as if [David] had said, Separated from God I am nothing, and all that I attempt to do ends in nothing; but when I come to Him, I find an abundant supply of strength. It is highly necessary for us to consider what we are without God; for no man will cast himself wholly upon God, but he who feels himself in a fainting condition, and who despairs of the sufficiency of his own powers. We will seek nothing from God but what we are conscious of wanting in ourselves. ...the reason why God is represented as a portion is, because He alone is abundantly sufficient for us, and because in Him the perfection of our happiness consists.” -John Calvin, on Psalm 73:26

Follow me as I follow Jesus

What if it’s Supposed to Be Hard?

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We were gathered around a picnic table of fried food and milkshakes when one of my darling small group girls confessed an ongoing struggle to spend time reading the Bible.

As we swapped mutual experiences and compared war wounds, it became clear that this was not an infection exclusive to just one girl but something each of us battle daily.

Diagnostic questions followed.

Why is it easier to watch Gilmore Girls or play on our phones than study Scripture?
Why do we say we don’t have time to get in the Word but spend extensive time each day watching Netflix or perusing Snapchat and Instagram?
Why don’t we wake up every morning in a hurry to fling the blankets off because we’re so excited to pore over the Bible?
Why is it often hard to start reading Scripture?

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In between bites of onion rings and mozzarella sticks, we admitted our individual answers:

We’re not avid readers of anything.
We’re lazy.
We’d rather do something that took less brainpower.
We don’t want to be convicted.

I’m so grateful for the maturity God has given my girls that reveals itself (in one way) through their honesty with themselves and each other. It’s God’s grace in action that would cause them to call themselves out and say hard truth about their own souls, and what a benefit that is to everyone. I learn so much from them.

As discussion continued, a random thought came to me:

What if it’s supposed to be hard?

What if Bible study isn’t supposed to be easy?

What if it’s supposed to make us feel dumb at times?

What if Bible study isn’t supposed to be fast food but a slow process of digging and retrieving and cooking and feasting on what will truly satisfy?

What if it’s difficult because it’s supposed to further expose our limited understanding and need of the Holy Spirit?

What if Bible study is difficult because, as my dad says, “Anything God is for the enemy is against”?

What if it’s hard because our flesh is being exposed and disciplined?

What if Bible study is challenging so it will push us to Christ?

What if it’s sometimes difficult so we not only appreciate it more but further depend on God for the illumination necessary for comprehension?

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This is remarkably freeing, isn’t it? 

This thought shifts the focus from our abilities and onto the Lord, the only One who can breathe life into His Words.

Remember that deliverance from our body of death and fleshly desires, which take us captive and wage war against the law of our minds, comes through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 7:21-25).

Take heart, friends. By His life and death (and life again), Jesus has given us the strength to resist the flesh and plow into Scripture, trusting Him for wisdom, help, and mercy in our time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16).

“The Word of God was never given to make our flesh feel good; it was given to confront us with our worldly and fleshly thinking. The Word takes us to the cross.” Michael Catt

 

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