by Emmanuelle Gomez & Gia Garcia
We dislike difficult.
Difficult disrupts what was once peaceful. Difficult is uncomfortable, unpleasant, painful.
No matter how strong or unfazed we’d like to be as Christians, we are still humans and are not devoid of emotions; there is no point in denying that difficulty affects us just as much as it does anyone else.
When we think about it though, more often than not, it is not really the difficult we dislike; it is the feeling–of discomfort, of sadness, of restlessness, of helplessness, of pain that comes with the struggle, of anxiety amidst the waiting, of fear of not overcoming. We get overwhelmed by challenges because the difficult intimidates our soul. Oh, if we could only go through them without feeling their weight!
But as Christians, we have Jesus, whom by nature was 100% God, and also 100% human–not devoid of the very same emotions you and I feel today. He was not exempt from facing challenges and struggles. He wept when Lazarus, his best friend, passed away. He felt offense and anger when he saw that his Father’s temple was becoming a “den of robbers.” Above all, he knew he was to face suffering, and at Gethsemane even pleaded three times with his Father to take the suffering away. He felt every lash, every thorn, every nail. On the cross, He felt the weight of our sin. And even in his final moments he cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
Did Jesus like difficult? Apparently not. But He did not opt for what’s easy.
“Your will be done,” Jesus prayed to his Father in Gethsemane. Before his final breath on the cross, while carrying the pain of his torn flesh and the weight of our sin, his final words were “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.” He endured his life with each challenge and suffering, and every unpleasant emotion that came with it. He endured, not because he liked difficult, but because above anything else he wanted his Father’s will–to reconcile the world back to God. That sacrifice was the very expression of God’s constant, unfailing, and unchanging love for us–that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
What does this mean for us?
This means that because Jesus endured the most difficult, painful, and gruesome sacrifice, our “difficult” has long been overcome;
This means that a struggle can intimidate us, but it can never defeat us, because Jesus already faced and embraced what was most painful so we can live–and live victorious!
May we ever remember that a change in our circumstance does not change the faithfulness of God. Difficulties are not proof that God’s love for us fluctuates. Rather, difficulties expose our fluctuating faith while proving that God is just as faithful to us in our trial as He is in our breakthrough. Let it be that when we face difficulties of all sorts, we respond like Christ, in complete surrender and trust in God, with a desire for our Father’s will to be done, knowing that in every circumstance we are already coming from a position of victory.