Lord, this is too hard.

Jul 23, 2014 | Jess Versteeg

Shouldn’t this be easier?

Tuesday morning, Leonard Buhler shared a story of a staff member who was working on a project and was re-thinking how to execute it.

His previous way of running the event required a lot of hard work and he desired to lessen the load.

On one hand, it is not a bad thing to try to streamline the execution of our events to make it easier and smoother to run.

But Leonard’s point was this: sometimes the work we do is hard and there isn’t really any way to avoid that. Sometimes, though, we work hard to make the work less difficult which prompts the question,

“What does this attitude say about our reliance on the Spirit, on the way we live the Spirit-filled life?”

How do we keep engaging over and over again when, in reality, it’s tough?

How do we lean in when we know how hard it’s going to be?

This is something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit in the last few months and years.

Does the work being hard mean I’m bad at it?

How long do I keep pressing in?

Is there wisdom in throwing in the towel because I need to come to terms with the fact that I’m not cut out for this mission?

I know you can run, but can you wait.

Later that morning Steve Berg came on stage and spoke to us on the topic of waiting.

“I know Power to Change and I know you have no problems running hard and going for things,” he said (my paraphrase), “But how good are you at waiting?”

He proceeded to lead us through several Psalms that talk about waiting on the Lord.

We also had personal time to spend reflecting on these Psalms and bring our situations to the Lord.

Steve continued to talk on the topic of waiting for/on the Lord in the evening session as well. This time through the lens of Isaiah 40:31. Focusing on the last verse, he pointed out something that helped me understand my previous understanding of this verse.

but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

I used to find this a condemning verse.

“But Lord, this is me being faint.” 

“What am I doing wrong that I do not experience what this verse is saying?”

God was showing up in my difficulty

Berg pointed out that the three images may be three different ways God shows up for us: miraculously delivering us (soaring), collaborating with us which builds our confidence (running), or asking for a deeper trust that produces endurance (walking).

It was this last one that resonated with me the most.

In the past when I was feeling faint, I was still persevering.

I hadn’t quit, and I still haven’t quit.

God was showing up in my difficulty, I just didn’t realize it.

He was actually empowering me to eek out whatever strength I had, helping me put one foot in front of the other until I got to the end of that time in my life.

Bringing it back to Leonard’s first questions:

How do we keep engaging over and over again when, in reality, it’s tough?

How do we lean in when we know how hard it’s going to be?

In the middle of the busyness, in trying to lead spiritually, what is my orientation to God?

Wait on the Lord.

Cling to Christ.

Or as the New Living Translation says it in Psalm 130, count on God because He is the only right answer.

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About the Author

Jess Versteeg

Jess has worked for nearly a decade in Montreal in various roles on and off-campuses in both French and English. She’s currently a mentor, writer, and assistant to the Directeur national du Québec, P2C-Etudiants.