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Easy Doesn’t Live Here

Posted in Encouragement, Faith, Home Page, and Overcoming difficulties

In my college days, I boarded the Wolverine Express to take me home. I joined the crowded train with other Michigan students showing our love for all things “maize and blue.”

Sitting snuggly in my seat with my favorite trail mix, life felt easy. Eventually, I drifted from my snack and daydreamed out the window — until truth interrupted my thoughts.

It happened somewhere between the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek stations. I saw a bible verse with letters so large I had to tilt my head back to take it in.

It was painted on the side of a building, perfectly positioned for a traveler needing some encouragement.  It was perfectly positioned for me:

“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.” – Matthew 11:28‭-‬30 NIV

It felt like God slipped me a billboard-sized love note. He knew I wanted easy.

Easier exams.
Easier ways to finance my education.
Easier ways to walk with Him.

It all seemed to cost more than what I had.  I took Him up on His invitation.

Since then, His “gentle and humble heart” continues to mold mine.  It happens as I exchange my weariness and burdens for His lessons and His rest.

Yet, I still want easy.

Easier ways to resolve conflict.
Easier methods for transformation.
Easier paths to fulfilling His call.

Some days overflow with simple joys. Troubles are few.  Grace is apparent and I’m at ease.

But it’s not a matter of if life becomes tough, it’s a matter of what I’ll do when it does.

And when difficult days come and I need a hint of hope, God reminds me: Easy doesn’t live here; Jesus does.

He lives in every heart that invites Him. (See Ephesians 3:16 and 17). He knows as we live in this fallen world, we can grow weary beneath our burdens. But we can live free under His yoke.

I want to follow where He leads. My challenge, and perhaps yours too, is gleaning what I need to learn along the way. The “billboard” of His Word reminds me:

He’s already navigated the toughest terrain.

He took on humanity’s sin, endured the pain of Calvary’s cross and walked out of an empty tomb.

“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.”

Thankfully, knowing Who I’ll learn from is key.  Because the more I realize Jesus lives here — enthroned in my heart and reigning over all things — I can rest.

And as I do, He counsels me through crises, holds me when I’m hurting and guides me as I grasp the gravity of His call.

When life is tough it doesn’t make Him less triumphant, but it can make me more teachable.

I have more to learn about His gentle and humble heart. It’s rarely easy, but knowing Jesus always makes it possible. Because easy doesn’t live here; Jesus does.

Congratulations to QuaWanna Bannarbie! She won last week's giveaway, The Sacred Slow: A Holy Departure from Fast Faith by Alicia Britt Chole!

14 Comments

  1. I absolutely love this!
    “Easy doesn’t live here, Jesus does”, so often we expect for things to be easier for us but Jesus said “In this world you’ll have afflictions, but take heart I have overcome the world”. He doesn’t promise to take away our afflictions just says take heart because the mere fact that I have conquered the world makes a way for you to conquer as well.

    So good!!!!

    January 31, 2018
    |Reply
    • Joy
      Joy

      Hi Emily! Yes, your reference to John 16:33 encourages me on many days. Thankfully, we can take heart when we give our heart to Christ.

      January 31, 2018
      |Reply
  2. I agree, so often I long for it to be easy, but it rarely is. I’m grateful that Jesus promises us that rest even in him, even in the midst of life’s difficulties, and that he provides all we need to keep going.

    January 31, 2018
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    • Joy
      Joy

      Amen Lesley! Thanks for stopping by!

      January 31, 2018
      |Reply
  3. Absolute truth! The more we seek God the more he draws us out of our comfort zone which is decidedly not easy! But we can rest in his strength and let him do through us what we cannot do alone.

    January 31, 2018
    |Reply
    • Joy
      Joy

      Well put Beka! Leaving my comfort zone is a reminder that my strength is in Christ alone.

      January 31, 2018
      |Reply
  4. Diane Grimes
    Diane Grimes

    Beautiful, Joy!

    January 31, 2018
    |Reply
    • Joy
      Joy

      Thanks Diane!

      January 31, 2018
      |Reply
  5. That quote is amazing! I’ve heard lots of inspirational sayings, but I’ve never heard that one. And IT IS EVERYTHING! Love it 💕

    January 31, 2018
    |Reply
    • Joy
      Joy

      Hi Brittany! I’m glad you connected with the quote: Easy doesn’t live here; Jesus does. It has been a central truth for me when life gets tough.

      January 31, 2018
      |Reply
  6. Such a good reminder, Joy. — And love your last line…easy doesn’t live here, Jesus does. — Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. — Happy to be visiting you from Rachel’s place today. 🙂 Nice to meet you.

    February 1, 2018
    |Reply
    • Joy
      Joy

      Hi Brenda! Nice to meet you too. Thanks for stopping by.

      February 1, 2018
      |Reply
  7. When life gets difficult, it doesn’t make him less triumphant- it makes me more teachable! Love that, Joy! So very true. Don’t you just love it when God sends billboard-sized messages just for us?! Great message! <3

    February 1, 2018
    |Reply
    • Joy
      Joy

      Thanks Rachel! Yes, I love the billboard-sized messages (and the tiny prompters too). I’m constantly in awe of the many ways He speaks to our hearts.

      February 2, 2018
      |Reply

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