It’s funny how sometimes things work together to reinforce a message.

I’ve been hearing the Lord say, “Embrace the mess. Embrace the pain. Embrace the struggle.” I like to avoid all these things. I do not like the messes of life, or of dealing with stressful situations. I do not like the pain of discipline, nor the effort and energy it takes to struggle through difficulties to reach the desired outcome. I’d prefer to take the path of least resistance, although I have learned that the path of least resistance does not produce the fruit of real transformation.

The irony of the path of least resistance is whatever you don’t want to deal with is the very thing that continues to rear up and cause continual difficulty like a dead mouse smell permeating through your wall. My pastor says, (and it is so true) “If you don’t treat the little things like big things, they will eventually become big things that you cannot contain.

As the Lord has twice put it on my heart to embrace the things I want to repel, I see the message reinforced in other places, like my devotionals and studies. I say it often, but I’ll repeat it. God is committed to our success! We pray for His plans to come to pass and we cry out for help, clarity, direction, but when it comes, sometimes we don’t recognize it as God because there is pain in walking the path. The mess repels us, or the struggle of the road is more than we think we can endure. Little do we realize how close our breakthrough is if we would just embrace what is before us.

Read Mark 6:45-56. Jesus told the disciples to get in the boat and go across to Bethsaida. They quickly obeyed, i.e., they did what they were supposed to do! In their obedience, they ran straight into overwhelming physical difficulty, which I’m sure in turn brought huge emotional struggles. Anyone ever asked the questions why and where when in a hard place? Why is this so hard? Where is God?

The disciples had a strong headwind holding them back from their God-appointed destination. In all this, what was Jesus’ position? He was watching, AND He was praying. What can we learn from that? One, God sees us and knows all the struggles we will go through on the path to His purpose. Second, He is praying for us.

“Who then is left to condemn us? Certainly not Jesus, the Anointed One! For he gave his life for us, and even more than that, he has conquered death and is now risen, exalted, and enthroned by God at his right hand. So how could he possibly condemn us since he is continually praying for our triumph?” Romans 8:34 TPT

Third, something tremendous was at stake and still is. Jesus was hands-on with the miracle of the bread then He stepped back to see if what He taught would be applied and if they would realize that even when He wasn’t with them, He was with them.

Their future depended on them learning this lesson in the deepest part of their soul. Friend, your future depends on you learning this truth in the depth of your soul.

We don’t like the difficulties of following hard after God and His ways. I don’t like it. Not. One. Single. Bit. It is the struggle that makes us strong; it is the darkness of night that makes us trust Him even more. If we didn’t have these hardships, we might become spoiled, entitled brats, weak in faith, and deficient in character.

What is a path of least resistance you’ve taken and where has it led you? What little gremlin is still rearing its ugly head because of it? Ask the Lord what you can do today to get off that road and onto His path of destiny. Ask Him for grace to do whatever it takes, to embrace any difficulty to follow Him fully and completely.

 

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