My husband determined that we needed to fix up our truck (and old beater) first, so we could haul things safely. Next, we'd buy a shipping container to have on the property for storage (because we do plan to move into a regular house eventually - plus the container can be converted into a shop for my hubby once we're done using it for storage). Then we could start moving things out of the house, to make it easier to paint and fix up so we could get it on the market. I hoped we'd have the house on the market by now, but...
My husband seemed to be dragging his heels. I didn't feel he was doing what needed to be done to get us out of here (and oh! how we all long to get out of here!). I was frustrated. Until finally one night he confessed: "I'm not 100% sure this is what we are supposed to do."
My jaw dropped. I said nothing - because I was afraid of what I'd say. After the emotions I went through when my husband announced the moving plan, I could hardly believe what I was hearing. "Lord, help me!" was all I could think. Eventually, I told him I'd pray for him to know with certainty, one way or the other. And I did. (Even though I thought he was already certain!)
A few weeks later, he said, out of the blue, "Well, I know we're supposed to do this now. Otherwise Satan wouldn't be making every step toward it so difficult." (The list of obstacles and difficulties is long, but let me give you an example: He needed a part for our trailer, which we'll be using to move the things we want to put in the shipping container. He took the day off work to fix it, as well as several other things. He drove 30 minutes away to a place that sells trailer parts and made to sure to ask if the part he was buying included a certain do-hickey he needed to go with it. The guy making the sale said yes, it did. Then my hubby drove a half hour back home...and when we he went to use the part, the do-hickey was missing! So he drove another 30 minutes back to the store to return the part and go someplace else to buy what he needed. And, of course, he spent another half hour or more driving home. By now, the afternoon was gone. So weird and frustrating. And this type of thing occurred over and over and over again.)
But whew! I was thankful he felt certain about the move. At last. Hopefully permanently now. But while I didn't say anything, I was thinking, "When I experience obstacles, I'm more likely to think, 'God must not want me to do this, or it wouldn't be so difficult.'
"Satan doesn't want things to be hard for us when we are following his plan. He only wants things to feel tough if we are following God's plan."
Yet not long after my hubby made the connection between tough times and walking on the path God's made for us, a friend loaned me the book Give Them Grace. It's a parenting book, but really, what hit home with me applied not just to parenting. It was what the authors had to say about the obstacles in life.
For example, the apostle Paul. Now, here's a guy you'd think would have stunning success. I mean, Jesus visited him personally - his glory so great Paul (then Saul) was temporarily blinded - and he gave Paul a very specific mission. If Paul followed the mission Jesus gave him, things should be easy...right? Nope. Not. At. All.
Paul constantly suffered hardship and failings. He had to sneak out of towns like a criminal. He lived through not one, not two, but three shipwrecks. He lived through a poisonous bite from a snake. He suffered countless beatings and stonings, often bringing him near death. He was arrested and spent years in prison without trial. Other Christians criticized him. In short, just about everything he did was really, really difficult. Obstacles were everywhere.
Satan doesn't want things to be hard for us when we are following his plan. He only wants things to feel tough if we are following God's plan. So when life throws us difficulties, we can rejoice. Rejoice that we are on a path Satan hates. Rejoice in our weakness. Rejoice that we can rest fully in Christ, because he says, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9) Amen.