Last Sunday afternoon I had an amazing conversation with a disciple in the faith that I love dearly. This young man has just taken a very significant step in his life, a step that required God to make a way, pave that way, and then show up to send him on that way. He knows he is where he is because he prayed that God would make a way where there was no way and God then clearly made a way. But now that he is walking out this new adventure it’s surprisingly hard. He’s experienced moments of great loneliness, and moments of such overwhelming newness and upheaval that he finds himself wondering if he made the right decision taking this next step in his life. He’s realizing that God’s best isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, it also includes hard. He’s also realizing that when you face hardship in the center of an adventure that God’s clearly led you into it does not mean you took the wrong steps.
I shared with him, “When I was young I used to think that when I said ‘yes’ to God’s adventures for my life that my new adventure would be fun without pain, breath-taking without hardship, and smooth with very few bumps. I used to think that smooth sailing would be the evidence that I was doing exactly what God wanted me to do. So I was shocked when I found myself exactly where God wanted me to be and it was really, really hard.” This young man agreed that he was learning the exact same lesson. He is learning that God is co-equally interested in what He’s giving to us along with what He’s making of us. Usually we say “yes” to God, and we walk into new adventures, thinking only about what God will potentially be giving to us. God opens doors, and unleashes us into new life adventures for the sake of what He intends to give to us and make of us. As a result good can be surprisingly hard just as much as hard can be surprisingly good.