You Can Do Hard Things
“You can do hard things, You can do hard things, You can do hard things…”
This was the mantra I kept repeating to myself as I started my first backpacking trip (which was also my first camping trip) in Zion National Park. My roommate (who was also on her first backpacking/hiking trip) and I started saying it way before we landed in Utah as a way to psych each other up while keeping the nerves down. It then became a way to distract myself and keep moving forward as our merry group of 5 went hiking through the snow. Yes- on top of it being the first time I have carried a pack and slept in a tent, there was also 6” of freshly packed snow on the ground.
You can do hard things…
Probably one of the hardest things that we, as followers of Christ, do is to be a follower of Christ. We all come to the place of surrendering our lives to Jesus in different ways - maybe we grew up in the church, or saved on the last night of Youth Camp, discipled by a friend, or hit rock bottom and had nowhere else to turn. All of us have different stories, but we all come to a point where we see that we are sinful and in need of a Savior- Jesus. That may seem like the hard part- but really its everything that comes after it. We still live in a broken world, which means we will encounter trials and suffering of many kinds. No one who follows Jesus is exempt from this reality. Jesus calls us to “pick up our cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). On the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus preached “ Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for their’s is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). Paul laid it out pretty clearly to Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12).
A life of following Christ is hard, but it’s worth it. While we are promised suffering- we are also promised so much more:
- Eternal Life (John 5:24, John 3:16, Romans 6:23)
- Fellowship with God (1 John 1:3, 1 Corinthians 1:9)
- Steadfast Love (1 Chronicles 16:34, Lamentations 2:22-23)
- New Life in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:4)
- All things working toward our good (Romans 8:28, Philippians 1:6)
How do we go through life doing hard things?
First God promised to never leave us (Deuteronomy 31:6) and gave us the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-17).
But God also have gave us the gift of each other. That we are adopted into a new family of faith with other brothers and sisters in Christ (Mark 3:31-35). That together, we can do hard things.
That starts with being a part of a House Church- committing to being present and vulnerable and learning from one another. Praying for the people in your life by name… and sending them a text after you do to encourage them. Having the hard conversations on how to engage issues like racial reconciliation around a table. Inviting your coworkers and House Church members to a backyard BBQ to experience Gospel Fellowship. Gathering a group of friends to serve together. There are countless ways that together, as a family, can go through the hard (and the good) things in life.
So what was the main thing that got me through the hard times of the trip? It wasn’t my mantra or mind strength, it wasn’t the scenery (which was BREATHTAKING), it wasn’t the food (but peanut butter m&ms and dried mango did get me out of one hairy blood-sugar drop), or my gear (which was 85% borrowed from others at TBM). It was the people I was on the trip with. That we worked together to encourage, distract, teach, and share the load with one another. That by going through this experience together, we formed a deep bond and trust of one another.
Together, we can do hard things, on this journey of transformation together, towards Jesus, for the glory of God.
Karen is the Director of Organization/Connections at The Bridge Montrose. She hasn't said no (but also hasn't said yes) to another backpacking trip.
all scripture from: The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
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