03/03/13 13:01 Filed in: David Ellis
Was the Christian life really meant to be this complex? I just opened a popular religious bookstore’s catalog and found literally thousands of books that tell me how I must do this or do that in order to live a good christian life, or be a good christian man, or be a good christian father, or husband, or… the list goes on and on. I am not trying to disparage these books. Certainly some are good and helpful. But in the end, is it REALLY supposed to take a library of books and a lifetime of effort? Is it really supposed to be this hard?
Life is hard.
Bills, taxes, illness, relationships.
My job is hard.
Geesh, is it never enough? Work harder, faster, better. Day after day. Year after year.
Raising kids is hard.
Pressure to do homework, constant running them to sports, sibling rivalries, drinking, sex and drugs.
Heck, even staying close with my wife, that I chose to spend my life with, is hard.
But one thing that was never meant to be hard or complex... is my relationship with God.
Oh, don't get me wrong… it IS hard.
I make it hard.
This world I live in makes it hard.
Satan makes it hard.
But God doesn't.
His love never fails.
It never gives up.
It never runs out on me.
He describes his Life like a river flowing; like the sun bringing Light; like a Father running to embrace his lost son; like a Potter gently touching his artistic creation; like an enamored man making love to his wife; like a Warrior fighting for his home and family.
He never intended it to be anything but the most welcome breeze in spring, like a cool drink in the hottest of deserts, like the most natural embrace of two friends.
But we make it hard. And we make it so complex.
Religion, my own striving to somehow prove to myself that I must be unredeemable, so I'll somehow fix myself up, just kills the simplicity of it all. And religion ALWAYS comes dressed up in its Sunday best- masquerading as good intentions, or encouragements to be a better Christian, or more faithful or more something. It sounds so right...
But it's not.
All He wants is my Trust that He has already accomplished all that is needed in Jesus. And that He is already deeply in Love with me. And that anything that I am ever to become as a man has already been secured for me and can only be found as I simply walk with Him. Trust in His Love. Let His Life be as real as it was always meant to be.
It will NEVER be found in my "Trying Harder."
And if this seems, well, too simple, let me just remind you (and myself) that it wasn't man who told God that things were too complex. It was Jesus Himself that railed against the chains of religion and went to the cross to prove that He really meant it when He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
It was meant to be Simple.
Like stepping through an open window to the paradise found just outside.
(Photograph taken by Heart Revolution's own Terry Pernsteiner)