I was reading a post on one of my favorite blogs about how difficult it is at times to build strong, trusting relationships within a community. It touched my soul because I could relate to it. Because of the structure of our lives today — being busy with work, school, family, business, and other projects — forming new, deep and meaningful relationships isn’t easy. And truthfully, I don’t think it was meant to be easy. And as my fellow blogger mentioned to me, “Nothing that matters ever is.”
LIFE IS SUPPOSED TO BE HARD
I wish I had learned this lesson, say, 10 years ago. I mean, I knew in my early 20s that life wasn’t going to be easy and I would face challenges, but I didn’t realize life wasn’t meant to be easy. That it is purposely difficult. Uncertainties purposely exists. Challenges and hard things are purposely allowed by God. Things that matter most to us aren’t easily obtained.
God doesn’t set things up like this to screw with our minds — at least I hope He doesn’t — but rather for two primary reasons: to build our character and to maximize our joy.
God explains the first principle in James 1:2-4:
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (The Message)
Whether you face difficulty in finding a mate, a meaningful career, success in business, understanding your purpose, pursuing your dream, or anything else desirable, the means to the end is meant to develop you, not destroy you (tweet this). Our desires don’t fall into our laps because we wouldn’t exercise our faith that way. We couldn’t develop patience and perseverance if we didn’t encounter challenges. We wouldn’t mature without challenges, thus, we wouldn’t properly manage our blessings when we obtained them.
WHY HARDER IS BETTER
The road to what we want is also difficult because if it was easy, we wouldn’t enjoy the outcome as much. Author Donald Miller shared a story of hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. There are two routes to the city, one along a river that would take about six hours to arrive at the destination. The other route is through the Andes Mountains, through high elevation, a difficult and dangerous journey that takes four days. The Incas made people take the mountain route. Why? As Miller explained, they wanted people to take the more challenging journey because people would appreciate the city more if they went through difficulties to get to it.
Our lives are the same way. They are designed with difficulties, uncertainties, danger, and adventure because when we arrive at the destination, when we obtain what we’ve been believing for, hoping for, and working for, we enjoy it more. We’re much happier and better because of the journey. So embrace the difficulties en route to your desires. It’ll make a better celebration when you get to your destination.
Kevin is the founder and editor of Transparency. He’s learning to appreciate the journey of life a bit more. Connect with him on twitter: @kevbhowell.