"It isn't hard to obey, it's just hard to choose to obey."
I have said them again many, many time. And their truth always shines a light on my own soul whenever I say them.
Because washing your hands after playing in the dirt isn't hard, but choosing to do it because you mom tells you to can be torturous.
Unloading the dishwasher takes ten minutes, but deciding to get up and do it can take a good half hour of aching deliberation.
Reading your Bible and asking God to show up isn't hard, but having the discipline to choose to put aside other distractions grinds against your will.
Forgiving your spouse takes a simple, humble acceptance of grace for both of you, but willing your heart to want to find that grace feels like stopping a freight train with your bare hands.
It really isn't hard to obey, it's hardest to choose to obey.
Many times, I have struggled as a mother because I want my children not to be like me. I have wished the rules would win their hearts so that doing the right thing would be easy and come cheaply.
But they are just like me; they are just like all of humanity. They want lots of play and no work, immediate results after very little labor, and for God to be a little more like Santa Claus and little less like a King who rules in grace and truth.
"Dear God, here is my list of dreams, thank you for making them all come true. Enjoy the cookies I made for you. Amen."
Cookies, schmookies, God wants our devotion, not sweet offerings that are here today and gone tomorrow.
Today, we all stand before treacherous mountains God has asked us to climb. They rise to the heavens and every fear we have imagined probably lives on them.
However, it isn't the climbing that will be the hardest part; we will take on the jagged peaks one step at a time.
The difficulty lies here at the bottom, where we must choose to climb and know God more as we journey with Him. Obedience grates against our will, but love compels us to take the first step.
The place that love crosses our will is where faith rules. The first step is always a step taken because of who God is and what He has said.
Today, let's choose to obey and do the hard things it takes to live His love and know Him in our true hearts.
"[God's] purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us."- Acts 17:27 (NLT)
He is not far away. He is closer than our breath. He will never leave us or forget us. His love will drive away our fears. His presence will lead us over the mountains and into a glorious future that His hand has written from the beginning of time.
Choose to climb.