What do you do when the hard is hard? Do you hide? Do you immerse yourself in all things chocolate and a good book that takes you to places long-gone? Do you find yourself paralyzed by the what ifs? Do you stare it in the eye and wrestle it to the ground?
We all have hard. It comes in different packages, but it’s still hard. And what might be hard for me, might be easy for you, but you have your own set of hard too. If there’s one thing that’s chronic in this life–this is it: hard.
Hard days. Hard lives. Hard hearts.
And that hardness is an indication that I need the softness and the power of grace.
The Softness of Grace
The softness of grace gives me freedom not to compare my hard to yours, because in reality: I am healthy. My kids and my husband are healthy. I am able to pour my life and energy into raising my kids and then ministry to others. When I compare my “hard” to my friends who struggle and suffer with health, family, or financial issues, I don’t feel I have the right to my hards.
When I compare, I rob myself of receiving God’s grace because I minimize my experience in the journey he has me on. And it’s in the journey that I learn dependence on him and comparing feeds my independence.
I feed my independence because I won’t admit this day, this week, this month is hard and I fail to reach for God’s help and rescue. So comparing our difficulties robs us of the softness that grace brings to our lives. Comparing actually leads to competition and competition leads to compulsively looking to ourselves for strength and success.
The Power of Grace
When I run smack dab into the middle of hard, I know I need to reach for the power of grace, but so often I reach for anything else rather than the power of God. It’s the power of grace that makes living this life possible. But that seems so nebulous. It’s much easier to look to Pinterest, Facebook, snapchat, or Instagram for the latest tips and tricks to live this life well. It’s even easier to turn to the words of others rather than the Word of God.
It’s the word of God that shows me how to live through hard. Joseph. David. Abigail. Rahab. Moses. Deborah. Peter. Paul. Job. These are my examples on how to live well through the hard. They knew the power of grace in their lives. The power that enabled change, not their circumstance, but themselves within the circumstance.
So often I think I need to change my outside: maybe if I were more organized, or slimmer, or researched the latest health news, my hard wouldn’t be so hard. But it’s our insides that change our outsides.It's our insides that change our outsides. Click To Tweet
Our hards challenge us on the insides, in our hearts.
Worry or trust?
Doubt or belief?
Negativity or Positivity?
Complaining or gratefulness?
We have a choice and it’s the power of grace that enables us to choose trust, belief, positivity, and gratefulness. Even if it’s in the middle of the hard.
Hard will come. Hard will go. But even if it does or doesn’t, can we extend the softness of grace to ourselves and tap into the power of grace to keep choosing God’s way in the midst of hard?