Acts 14:22 (Message) ...urging them to stick with what they had begun to believe and not quit, making it clear to them that it wouldn't be easy: "Anyone signing up for the kingdom of God has to go through plenty of hard times."
Earlier this month, some friends and I went on an Art Walk in the woods up north MI. We came to a fork in the trail with a sign stating "difficult" and "more difficult".
I smiled as I realized how much this signifies most of life. It does not matter which way you go, it's a challenge. According to the verse above, as Christians, we are probably on the "more difficult" path.
There was the option of turning back (which we did at the time), but I wonder what we missed. We did make the effort to climb the steps of a stockade maze. More difficult? Yes, but we were rewarded with the beautiful colors of the autumn trees filling the landscape. It was worth the effort. On the ground, we were unable to see that distance. Even though there was some rain that day, the umbrella of trees protected us from getting too wet.
I have to thank my husband for the time away with my friends. Sometimes we need a break to refresh ourselves along the way.
God promises that He will share in our burdens along the more difficult path. He also offers us rest for the times we get beat down by the circumstances we find along the path, whichever one we choose or find ourselves on. A yoke divides the work and doubles the effort.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) 28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Under the heading Rest for the Weary)
Not trying to rewrite the Bible, but thinking how the above translates for me:
Make an effort to find me. You know you're tired. Allow me to join you and make this easier. I will help you relax. You will find rest. You will not work alone.
Take a few moments to consider what path you're on. Are you walking it alone? Struggling? God's yoke is beside the path. Will you pick it up? It does not mean the path will get easier. It does mean that you can share the load. Are you up to the challenge of the more difficult?