All that I write has a purpose; some is more significant to me than others. Some I believe will be found more significant to some than others will find it. This portion does not apply equally to everyone. Some of you have other issues, other circumstances and controlling forces to deal with. For those who do qualify, this may be a storehouse of the greatest treasure you will ever open. Few people in this life will see what you see and even fewer will understand its immense impact and extremely few will possess it as a reality. Sadly the most common outcome if you are able to grasp it is that you will most probably glimpse it and let it slide from your hold. I do not intend this as a false build up of great expectations to a pathetically disappointing collapse. There is within your grasp far more power, and pleasure far beyond all the physical joys you have experienced in your short existence. Most folks are satisfied with mundane, predictable, safe normalcy. Most want just enough to be better off than the few around them whom they judge are doing well in their circumstances. Extremely few people experience lives free from destitution, despair, depression or defeat for very long or even at some time and in fact not often. We like to say that if we can get through the toughest times, we can handle the rest. We point to those who have climbed a ways up their particular ladder only to have it crumble and then rise up again. It is a good place to point to. It is even Biblical. A just man rises seven times the scripture records. To which we are quick and clever to point out that he had to fall down six to keep getting back up, and we admire that tenacity. Keep trying, keep plugging away, keep ignoring the failures as you learn from them and eventually you may succeed.
Yet most do not. There are many more impoverished survivors than splendored ones. Of all the people I know who claim to be true believers in the eternal creator god of the universe; I believe a few of them; perhaps one in ten. Not that my purpose is to judge them by my standards. They choose their own target, they aim carefully with all the support they can muster from those who love and care for them and then they pull the trigger. They either had wet powder or didn’t account for the wind, or whatever, there will be a million “reasons” (excuses) why but they still miss the mark. They did not ever really see the goal. They simply saw others who knew and thought for a brief moment about exploring the possibility that they were seeing truth worth pursuing. Frankly and sadly, to most of them this piece does not apply. They are too busy figuring it all out. Yet they cannot settle long enough to just think. Surely, for so they believe, if they apply themselves with renewed strength and vigor they will triumph. They rededicate, renew hope, re-promise themselves, to do it all over again but better this time. Maybe they will succeed, but the track record over the last several thousand years isn’t looking so good right now. Nothing in life is harder than now. No trial, hardship, testing or trouble will tax you more than what you are currently doing. Nothing we have to do is more difficult than what you are doing at this very moment. Nothing we have ever done is more difficult than what you are doing at this very moment. Nothing we will ever do is more difficult than what you are doing at this very moment.
You may feel as though things are going well. You may be at peace in your circumstances and have no animosity towards any that you are aware of. Or you may have just been told you have cancer and will not see your next birthday. You may have just lost your wealth, your health, your children, your fame or even your right thinking mind. If it does not hurt, harm, halt or pause you, there is within your mind the unshakable belief that life is good and you are king for the day. Yet if it does not please, profit, promote or proclaim your greatness, then you are indeed undone and miserable. Either scenario is acceptable for our purposes and completely congruent with our premise. Nothing in life is harder than now; Right now.
So as you are sitting, walking, standing or lying there puzzled, let me assure you that the truth is immediately before you and in your grasp. It is one you do not have to let go of or deny any longer. You deny it if you do not grasp it. You let go of it if you do not possess it in your acumen as central to being who and what you are. While He was walking among men here on this earth Jesus conveyed this regularly in His teachings and manner of living. I like referring to His life for a number of reasons not the least of which is that He claimed to be God, the creator and sustainer of everything and I believe Him. Many who will read this are familiar with His saying about faith as a grain of a mustard seed. Most of you will be able to present several of the miracles He did to prove that He was indeed who He claimed to be.
Then there is the whole purpose of His visit in which He gave His life as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sin debt to Himself. But right now I want to go to a different thought that He presented in every circumstance He was in. First remember that nothing surprised Him, ever. Nothing suddenly occurred to Him. He was never recorded as saying He had not thought of something. It appears from what is recorded that He allowed folks to make certain choices and to benefit from or suffer the consequences at their own hand. Although He would certainly seem to be capable of forcing or convincing anyone to do anything He liked, it does not appear from recorded history that He did so. Nothing in life is harder than now. Ever moment which is recorded of the life and experience of the Savior of mankind is a testimony to neutrality of circumstances in His existence. The time when He was born in the manger is not touted as a day of greater privilege or hardship. His trial before the devil after forty days of fasting in the wilderness is not deemed to be more burdensome than the feeding of five thousand men besides women and children. Every one of the gospel writers spent many chapters and provided great painful detail concerning His last week on earth; His last days; His last hours; His last sayings; even His last breathe. Yet it was no harder for Him to die than it was for Him to rise in new life triumphant over death, hell and the grave. In our superfluous efforts to draw His accomplishments to a comparison with human efforts and abilities we deny who He is.
Yet it is those very comparisons which herald the truth and power to which we are come today. Nothing in life is harder than now. Some things hurt, some give pleasure. I have watched as men and women, boys and girls have triumphed, suffered, soared and fell flat on their faces. At each point in their existence I would say nothing in life is harder than now. It is not difficult for a well trained athlete to best a poorly prepared competitor. It is not difficult for an intellectual colossus to outdo an uneducated bumpkin. For each one of them, the hardest moment in life in now. Life is a series of nows. Some nows have already been and are strung together as the events which we call past. Some nows are yet to be and comprise our future. In each moment, each now, you must choose. We choose to be, to assert, to withdraw, to cower, to profess, to sulk in silence. We choose because we are graciously given that gift by our creator. Each choice is difficult until it is made and then it is not. The impact of our choice results in other choices. Not just for ourselves but for all whom we impact as we live and breathe and choose. Nothing in life is harder than now. So if you’re thinking this is a breeze you are right. God did not intend for us to be fretting and caught up in the destitution of despondency. What I choose is right. For me, at this moment, it is right. If I fail to make the clearly correct moral choice others would desire me to, then maybe I have a few more things to learn. After all we already decided I wasn’t perfect. I’ve got issues.
If I see my current circumstance as failure and perceive a distance in my relationship with my Lord and Master, then maybe I have a few more things to learn. If I exalt myself or accomplishments or think I just made the easiest choice of my life, then maybe I have a few more things to learn. Life and all of its wonderful ponderings are not intended to be a series of ups and downs so we can hopefully go out on a high note or reminisce on the good old days. Life is hard; every moment. Not even one is harder nor easier than another. Each of the eighty six thousand four hundred seconds we experience each twenty four hour day is the same. It is a gift from our Heavenly Father. “You did run well, who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth?” The apostle Paul wrote that to the Galatians. God thought it was important enough to include it in His book of love letters He had recorded for us. Each choice, each moment, each vibrantly electrifying joyful second, you ran well. You did! Sometimes it seemed harder than others; it wasn’t. We do the right because we believe it is right and good and best in our circumstance to do so. We choose well. At times we choose well. At others, we choose with less noble consequences. Often we lie when the truth would serve better. We cheat, we steal, we curse and condemn and subvert the good for what we perceive is our benefit. It is not any harder to do the evil than it is to do the good. Many of those who just read that last line may have thought I wrote it backwards. Many would have said it is not any harder to do the good than it is to do the evil. Every moment is equally as difficult. It is not laziness that causes someone to choose one over the other, it is just hard; equally hard. It is equally difficult. I use a saying when I want to encourage someone to excel at what they are unsure of.
I say “If it was easy anyone could do it”. Yet everyone does the hard thing. It is not easy at any moment for anyone. Nothing in life is harder than now. When then was now it was hard. It may not seem as hard looking back but it was. It is hard, right now, to remember how hard it was, then. There are not moments nor memories nor instants nor situations where it was not hard. Do you get it? Do you grasp the single fact of the hardness of now? In this moment life is hard. Nothing in life is harder than now. Yes there is a reason. There is a specifically defined, well explained, clearly enunciated, repeated, assured reason. Jesus is the reason. Jesus Christ, God the Son, the messiah and promised deliverer is the reason. The next thought amazes me as it comes. For surely some would argue that Jesus came to set us free and make life simple and easy and worry free and wonderful. Some of that is true. Let me try to bring into focus what we are exploring here. Most folks would agree that among other things, one reason why Jesus came to earth as a son was because we each understand, to some level or degree of understanding, what it would be like to lose your only son to death. Additionally we can comprehend the enormity of allowing that to happen, albeit for the greater good, when you could have prevented it. He came as a man so we would hear from a man’s mouth and see through a man’s eyes and know by a man’s heart that there is a God in heaven who desires to dwell among and within men. While it is pleasurable to have others agree with us, because then it makes us seem to ourselves at least, to be intelligent, it is often short-lived. But what if Jesus did not come as a man and a son for those reasons? What if Jesus created us as men because He desired to come to us in that way?
The scripture says we are created in His image. It does not say that after He created us, then He decided to become a man. Before there was a Calvary, an Israel, a curse, a tempter, a garden, a creation or even light for us to see, Before any of that God was complete and comprehensive in His existence. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit was plenary. He is one God, not three. It is not necessary for Him to be manifested as each person of the Godhead to be complete. Omnipotence is his eternal limitless power over everything at all times and beyond time. He is omnipotent. Omniscience is his eternal knowledge and knowing everything at all times and beyond time. He is omniscient. Omnipresence is his eternal presence everywhere at all times and beyond time. He is omnipresent. He simply is. He is the reason nothing in life is harder than now. It was not harder for God to complete one day of creation over another. Placing the sun, moon and stars in the heavens for signs and seasons was not more difficult for God than saying let there be light. Degree of difficulty is a human expression. We use it when we wish to express the complexity of a thing. We like to say that given enough time and resource even the most complex can be resolved into simplest terms or forms.God created time within Himself for our benefit. God is unlimited, and infinite, our limitation is us; we are finite. We have a creator, a beginning, an expected end, an allotted amount of time and a given set of resources. Nothing in life is harder than now. Jesus created all for His own good pleasure, says so in His Word. He did not become more fulfilled, happier or more God when He did so. He created with design and intent. He did not come back later and fix anything.
He did not try out this thing or that thing and improve on them as He progressed. He chose the place, circumstances, and attributes of each part of His creation. It was perfect and complete each day as He desired. At the time when He rested from His creating He was finished. All the animals which would ever roam the earth were there. All the plants, lights, stars, angels, all were there. He was there; with each part and a part of each piece. All of God’s creation resulted in a colossal symphony of perfection.God saw all that He had created and said it was very good. He is still saying that. It is still very good and you are a part of the whole which He says is very good. Nothing in life is harder than now. Jesus is the reason. Jesus Christ, God the Son, the messiah and promised deliverer is the reason. He has placed Himself in every part and particle of His creation in such a way that nothing can be except He causes it or permits it. Nothing can exist, change, wear out, renew, live, die, be or not be, do or not do without Jesus. He is before all things, and by him all things consist. I read that in His book too. It means nothing came into being, existence, without His direct intervention and nothing remains without His express desire. You exist; therefore He intervened for you and desires you. Every solar system, planet, mountain, boulder, dust particle or neuron is in His continual presence and so are you. Without Him you can do nothing. Without Him you cannot be. Every one of those eighty six thousand four hundred seconds in every one of the predetermined days of your life is His. He does not go away and leave you on your own. Pg.9 No creature is outside of His knowledge and control, not one angel in the heavens of heavens, not one saint amongst the myriad surrounding His throne in glory, not one living breathing person on this earth, not one demon in the pit, not even one solitary soul tormented in the darkness and flames of hell awaiting the final judgment of God and their future of being cast into the lake of fire that burns with fire and brimstone forever and ever, no one exist without His express desire. It then occurs to me as a light dawning in the darkness of deepest night under the thick overcast of heavy clouds that I indeed can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It is His promise to those who are His. This does not make one moment easier than another for He has always been present. His power, His will that I be like Him, His manifest love for me individually overwhelms me allowing me to truly be one in thought with Him. I know that the same mind which Paul admonished was in Christ Jesus is in me also. I can ask anything according to His will and know that He hears me. And I acknowledge nothing in life is harder than now. He has provided a way to escape every temptation which can possibly tug at my flesh. He has met every need I have ever had or expressed or known. He has kept me from that which would do me harm when I have allowed Him.
He was present at the moment of my conception. He oversaw my birth and growth and influences until I finally acknowledged Him and understood a small portion of His truth. I saw just enough light to beg forgiveness from my selfish denial of Him and accept His gracious costly sacrifice. Each day when I sought His wisdom it was there. Each stumble I took was under His watchful eye. He saw to it that no weapon the enemy brought to bear against me succeeded in taking me from His army. Though often wounded through the shortsightedness of my own zeal and self importance, I never bled out. His ever present Holy Spirit infused and transformed what could easily have been the death blows into strengthening for the next day. Each time it was hard. Each choice was labored. Yet each step in the long walk of the garden of my life has been with Him. I am persuaded that nothing can separate us. So that is it. That is the truth of each trial and hardship. It is the conquering sword and shield which I march behind. Whatever I choose it is the right choice for His plan in my life. For He alone knows when and where I falter. He alone knows my last breathe in this life and my first moment in His presence in glory. His Spirit guides and influences as I obey or deny.
Life is not just a series of hardships and disappointments. Hard is relative. We say that an oak table top is hard but scientists can demonstrate that the very molecules of that table are fluid and in motion just as the hydrogen and oxygen which make up the water or the many elements in the air we breathe. Life is not hard. Hearts are hard. Sometimes we use words with different definitions. We will have a different understanding than God or one another as to the meaning of something. It is a language barrier that we have. God does not have languages barriers. I define darkness as the absence of light. I define cold as the absence of heat. I define evil as the absence of good, Godly good. And I define disappointment as the absence of proper expectations. If a thing performs as I expect it to then I cannot logically be disappointed in it for it has met my expectation. Since my heavenly Father knows exactly what I am capable of and what I will do, He will never be disappointed in me. He knows the end from the beginning so He cannot expect me to do other than what I will do. Disappointments do not come from God; they are the result of our own foolish imaginations perceiving ourselves as gods and the true God as our adversary. He is no one’s adversary. When some choose to become His adversary, He still loves them and continues their existence.
I do not ever need to fear that He is or will be disappointed in me. He has not given me the spirit of fear but a soundness of mind which knows His love and power as my own strength and ability. Again, life is not hard. Life in Jesus is the sweetest existence this side of heaven we can know. Every moment is equal. Nothing is too hard for Him. I am His. Nothing is too hard for me. Some things may not be for me in this moment, or the next, or at any time in my life according to His plan. None of those things are too hard for Him. None of those things which are not are too hard for Him are too hard for me. Since it is He who allows the circumstances and events, provides the defense and empowers beyond our meager capabilities, surely we can trust that we will perform precisely according to His expectation. If there was no Christ and I was on my own by the mere chance and eventual colliding of random thrusts of an untamed universe then some days could be harder.
If I had no assurance of His order and fed continually on an unending tragedy of chaos, then yes it would be hard. That is fantasy and He is reality. It might have been just as true to say nothing in life is easier than now. All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. He is and knows and can and does. And He says I can because I am His. So every event, thought, choice, opportunity is just as difficult as the last and the next. It is all the same to Him and to those who are His. If it were not so, He would have brought us another way. And if it is so, and I believe it is, then we can simply make the choice and know with Him that it is right. We pray because it is our medium of exchange with Him. He hears and answers every prayer. If we know His voice and will listen then whatever is prayed is answered in a doable and perceivable fashion. Now is just as hard as any other moment because He is God and we are His children. We see the table top as hard and know with Him that it is fluid and in motion. We are not perplexed by lack for we know none. It is His, all of it is His. And we are His. Therefore all that He desires for us to have is ours.
Nothing will be afforded to us that will make one moment easier than another. Nothing will be tasked upon us which will cause one moment to be harder than another. We are equipped as He has gifted and unable only when we have drifted. No one moment can be too difficult for Jesus. He does not come up short. No one moment can be too easy for Jesus to ignore. Nor can it be so for His chosen ones. Just as my writings are deliberate and for a specific purpose, so are every one of His moments. They are His moments given as gifts to His willing obedient children. We are indeed Servants of the Most High God. We are able to do all He has provisioned us to do. Nothing in life is harder than now. AND if absolutely nothing in my life is any harder than what I am going through now, then I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me!