Our house is in the middle of a renovation and I wish I could say it was easy. Brooke and I went back and forth for years whether we should do it but decided for the long-term use of our house, it would be worth the pain. We are definitely in cramped conditions with two young children and not having our usual amenities setup. The kids are much harder to parent and it has been easy for us to shout out in frustration and ask this,
“Why is it so hard, God?”
Perspective hit me with a 2 X 4 today at church when we saw a casual friend who just had her 5th child. She was in tears when she saw Brooke. I found out later that her family was having trouble making ends meet and living with her in-laws. I cannot imagine how uncomfortable and frustrating that must be. Our discomfort was diminished in that moment.
We as Americans thrive on being comfortable. We set the thermostat at 70, we buy nice safe cars, we stay at our nice homes to watch a lot of movies and we drive to our churches without being shot at (hopefully). We have medication for just about everything in life to make us more “comfortable.” For the past few years there has been a war on this so-called financial group, the “one percent”. What amuses me is that even those who are complaining about the one percent are the one percent of the world. They just don’t look close enough in the mirror to see it. You who are reading this are part of the one percent so deal with it.
I have read about several POWs who were forced to endure years of living in cramped conditions only to brought out to be beaten. Watch the movie, Amistad (1997) and you’ll get a glimpse of what it was like as a slave being transported to the new world. Go visit any third world country and you’ll see dozens of people living in space smaller than your apartment. I’m tired of complaining and I’m sorry for you having to hear it.
Why do we complain when something doesn’t feel just right?
Why do we complain so much about not having things just the way we want them?
Why? We are discomfortably numb about life.
Luke 9:23: Then he said to them all,
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
I believe that God calls us to a hard life as Jesus commanded his disciples. It is harder for some more than others but in this discomfort God shows up.
God calls us to discomfort to gain perspective and recognize the possibilities of life.
When we fully understand this perspective, we are awake to God’s work in us and we can move forward. The next time I catch myself complaining about things, I pray for the courage to embrace this discomfort.
What about you?
How has God taught you through the hard times? Through the discomfort?