You never know what you can do until you have to do it.
I used to never really consider myself strong. I use to doubt my endurance for hard things. I would think of certain scenarios and think there was no way I could ever endure something like that! I was young and life had not been truly hard.
Have you ever thought like this? It’s possible I’m a lone bird on this one. I get stuck in my head quite a bit. But, on the off chance you have ever wondered how you’re going to make it, or do THAT, or what if, then maybe this is for you.
One of my very favorite sayings floating around lately is a hefty reminder. And, you better hang on for it!
“We can do hard things.”
I’m not really sure how this fits into today’s culture. For the most part, we are busy entertaining and indulging ourselves and avoiding uncomfortableness at all costs. I try to avoid stress and anxiety. I know my margins and am pretty good at trying hard to not cross them.
So, in today’s “first world problem” culture, the hard, ugly, messy, costly, inconvenient and uncomfortable are usually avoided like the . If it is out of the carefully crafted comfort zone we have so strategically arranged, it must not be for me. Check. Not going there.
But, what about the gift of inconvenience? What about the gift of hard?
I’ve had the privilege of knowing women who have done hard. My mom did hard for over 10 years as she was the primary caregiver for my sweet father as he slowly withered away. I’ve watched my mothers-in-law take care of grandchildren as their own and nurse a dying bitter man with grace and patience. I’ve seen women pick up family and home and move across the world and endure hardship in order to rescue children and women from slavery. There are all kinds of hard.
We can do hard things.
In fact, life is more rewarding and satisfying if we do hard. Perpetually taking the easy road and always choosing the easy leads to comatose living. If that is even considered living.
Sometimes, we really have no choice. The hard is shoved at us with the force of a tsunami, and we have to swallow it and keep afloat. Our world is shoved into another realm and we must adjust our course or be obliterated. Sometimes, it seems we have had more than our fair share of hard and inconvenient. It appears all we do is hard. I’ve been there.
We can do hard things.
I have a beautiful passage of Scripture you need to hear! Psalm 16:5-6 goes like this:
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
You may be wondering how I’m going to take this verse and make it work to convince you that, yes, you can do hard things. Well, here it is. I have had a very long season…years even…of doing very hard things. In fact, it came like the waves of the ocean. I often felt as if I was going to drown from the unrelenting surge of hard. Life looked bleak and it was breaking me. The years of pounding had me convinced this would never end. This seemingly had become the course of my life. I was constantly looking over my shoulder waiting for the next wave. Not a hope-filled, joyful journey by any stretch. I anticipated lack instead of abundance. I waited for darkness more than light. I expected drought instead of blessing.
Now, on the other side of the hard, I realize I have learned some valuable lessons.
1. I am stronger than I ever thought I was.
2. The hard doesn’t last forever.
3. I can’t do it on my own, but with Christ and friends, I can do anything.
4. Christ sees it all, and……now, look back at Psalm 16:5-6.
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”
The beauty and grace I never thought I would ever see again, has indeed, come. He never left me. And, in fact, He holds my inheritance and the borders of my life are stretched to beautiful places. Life isn’t perfect. Not everything works right all the time. Not everything has been fully restored. But, I anticipate in due time, all things will be made right.
There is something about going through hard and inconvenient, instead of caving and crumbling. There are lessons we learn and strength we gain. Strength begets strength. By not choosing the easiest, or bypassing the hard, a rock hard strength develops within you. One. Choice. At. A. Time.
Every time we choose to do hard, we choose strength. Each time we don’t give up, we choose spiritual fortitude. And, it is just amazing to see where we are taken in Christ through the journey. As we come out through the suffocating, restricting and confining alleyways of the hard, we come upon the wide open vistas of grace and hope that stretch out before us. We see it is both beautiful and breathtaking! Oh, the light and stunning grace! He knows us and gives us beauty for ashes. Yes, we may lose much, but the inheritance promises to be worth the journey!