On easy living

Call me strange, but I struggle with having an easy life.

I know, I know, my life doesn’t look that easy. But after a bad spell even the simplest things make my life easier. Being able to get up in 2 hours instead of 3 or 4. Not feeling ill all the time. Having a bit of energy to have people to visit or chat on the phone. Not being tired and thinking about bed all day long. Tiny things they may be but they make a big difference. And the difference they make is not just one of a slightly easier practical life but one of a slightly harder spiritual life.

The thing is, when I have quiet after my storm, when I have downhill strolls after my uphill hike, I slip, quickly and easily, into dissatisfaction. I have time and energy to think about the things that my life is missing. I notice the differences between my life and other people’s. I begin to think that things would be better if only I had a baby, a career, a long life expectancy, or whatever that day’s gripe might be.

You see, when I’m in a hospital room or sitting in our flat able to do nothing, I have to run to God. There’s no other way. When things are hard, it’s obvious we can’t do it alone. When illness pervades my life and my mind can only focus on one thing, it fixes on my Lord.

And that’s why David and I sit on our sofa in the evening and thank our Father for the trials and the hardships. That’s why we feel a little scared when we’re thrust into the world of easy living. And that’s why, in a strange, the-world-wouldn’t-understand kind of way, we look forward to our next lesson. No, we’re not being masochistic or martyr-like. We’re just learning lessons. And right now we’re realising that the best place to be is focusing on God and it’s worth whatever it takes to get there.

6 thoughts on “On easy living

  1. when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery

    The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Dt 8:12–14.

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  2. I find that too, exactly that, I find it so hard to stick close to God when things are easier. You are by no means alone in this. I've never felt so close to God than when I was seriously, deeply depressed and needed God to get me through each moment of the day. But when life is easier, faith and keeping close to God seem to get harder. And yet I still don't have the courage “to look forward to the next lesson”. Bit of a wimp…
    Thank you again for the encouragement and challenge, I'm still praying for you all regularly x

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  3. Ruth, I am from Idaho and I have been praying for you. What a blessing that you are feeling a little better. But I know (in a miniscule way) that Christ's choicest wines are in the deepest cellars. That is where the extra sweet fellowship of Christ is. I learned a lot from John Watson and Jeremaih Buroughs in their contentment books. I can tell that God is blessing you with His wisdom. I will continue to pray for you all. Blessing, Sue Burnett

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  4. Completely understand this. 2011 was an incredibly hard year for me, my whole world (geographically/physically and relationally) completely changed. The previous few years were hard too for different reasons – and I was forced, in a good way, to depend completely on God and His love and goodness. I flung myself and all I had on His mercy daily. This year things evened out – I have been blessed any many ways and seen many answers to prayers, which arose out of the stress and uncertainty of last year. And I've found it very hard to exercise discipline in my life, specifically when it comes to spending dedicated time with God each day. I've tried to justify my lack of discipline, telling myself that the last few years were the hard segments of the raced, where I was pushed beyond all ability to endure, so it's natural that I'd want/need a breather now… but I know that's not right. I'm ashamed at how quick I am to run to God when I *feel* that I need Him, but how undisciplined I am when I don't *feel* that burning need. The rational part of me never wants a repeat of the experiences of the last few years, but the spiritual, emotional side of me, wonders if maybe I need another lesson to pull me back on track. Time to start exercising the discipline of prayer and worship… I'll pray for you too as you travel through the more grueling peaks and the easier valleys…

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  5. Completely understand this. 2011 was an incredibly hard year for me, my whole world (geographically/physically and relationally) completely changed. The previous few years were hard too for different reasons – and I was forced, in a good way, to depend completely on God and His love and goodness. I flung myself and all I had on His mercy daily. This year things evened out – I have been blessed any many ways and seen many answers to prayers, which arose out of the stress and uncertainty of last year. And I've found it very hard to exercise discipline in my life, specifically when it comes to spending dedicated time with God each day. I've tried to justify my lack of discipline, telling myself that the last few years were the hard segments of the raced, where I was pushed beyond all ability to endure, so it's natural that I'd want/need a breather now… but I know that's not right. I'm ashamed at how quick I am to run to God when I *feel* that I need Him, but how undisciplined I am when I don't *feel* that burning need. The rational part of me never wants a repeat of the experiences of the last few years, but the spiritual, emotional side of me, wonders if maybe I need another lesson to pull me back on track. Time to start exercising the discipline of prayer and worship… I'll pray for you too as you travel through the more grueling peaks and the easier valleys…

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  6. Hi there, Ruth! Glad to “meet” you, and I'm glad that you found the CF Blogroll. Boy, I can understand so many of the sentiments in this post – when you are in the thick of things it's impossible not to just fight and look forward, but when life lets up a little it's SO easy to begin playing the comparison game. This was such an eloquent and beautiful entry! Thanks for sharing, and I've added you to the blogroll!

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