Over the last 17 years, I have passed a run-down mobile home park several times a month. The sign at the front entrance always smacks me with irony. It’s called, Easy Way Park, and let me tell you, there is nothing easy about the way there.
It’s like my grandmother’s words come to life. “The easy way may look easy, but it often costs twice as much.” While she was alive, I never knew what it meant, but as an adult, business owner, and pastor. It plays out around me daily.
The book of Matthew quotes Jesus as saying, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.
So if this wisdom has been around since the 1930s and the 0030s, why is evidence of the easy way everywhere?
I think it’s as simple as fear. The fear that dwells inside of all of us. How many times just this week, have you said that you were afraid?
I’m afraid toilet paper will run out in stores again.
I’m afraid interest rates are going to go back up.
I’m afraid COVID is making a return.
I’m afraid my car is on its last legs.
I’m afraid we will never have a baby.
I’m afraid our relationship is over.
I’m afraid that I blew that proposal.
I’m afraid I will never get married.
I’m afraid the roof needs replaced.
I’m afraid we are out of time.
I’m afraid we won’t make it there today.
I’m afraid that the hurricane is in the gulf.
I’m afraid that lump is cancer.
I’m afraid I will never get promoted.
Simple fears, that influence us into settling on whatever we come across or what we can scrape together. All because we have psyched ourselves into thinking that good fortune is scarce and we should just take whatever shows up.
But if we look at what Jesus says just before talking about some gate walking:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are heathens, you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:8-10
We need to ask and believe that He ONLY gives us the good stuff.
The really good stuff.
In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” “I have come to give you abundant life.” ~Jesus (John 16:33 & John 10:10)
Take notice that Jesus says He came to give us abundant life. He didn’t say anything about giving us an easy way out. He tells us that we will have trouble in this world. So, are you ready for the hard way? Does it make you nervous even thinking about it? The good news is God will work on it with you if you ask Him.
The hard way often looks like having real conversations. Truthful, kind, and direct conflict, severing unhealthy relationships, living within your means. Being kind to yourself, and placing boundaries. Not using coping mechanisms like alcohol, TV, or food to self-soothe.
Just circle the one above that makes you the most unnerved and let Him into it. He loves you and wants the best for you!
We will get through this together!
In His service and at yours,