Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Halfway up a hill

I was biking the other day with The Amazing Joanne, and we faced this oh-my-goodness hill. It was one of those hills that gets steeper all the way up, and not even 24 gears were enough to keep me moving. About halfway up that monster, my legs finally turned completely to rubber, and I had to jump off the bike before I fell off and hurt more than my pride and ambition.

Sooner or later, we all get knocked down by those hills in life. We start thinking we can't do the next task, or keep up with all the chores life requires, or aren't smart enough to handle it, or will never have the money we need, or can't make the career work, or -- well, you can fill in the blank with your own private hell.

Ignoring it, or just hoping it will change, won't get me through the day. Neither will thinking I need to try harder. It's like, trying my own way is what got me into this place of discouragement. Hello, if I could fix it, would I feel like this?

Good news! We don't have to fix it all ourselves, and we don't have to stay in that pit of discouragement. There's another way.

Romans chapter 8 is one of those places I go when I'm feeling 'stopped halfway up a hill.' The writer gives a ton of ways to think about the way we live -- but get this, it's all based on the fact that we are "in Christ." So, he says, now that we are "in Christ" then all this stuff applies.

One of the high points in the argument is this: "If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but offered him up for us all, how will he not also with him grant us everything?"

God gives, just by his nature. He's already given us the 'big thing' -- the free gift of absolute forgiveness, adoption and inclusion through his Son. How could he possibly not be willing and able to give us the 'easy thing' -- help for our other daily struggles too? He doesn't make them evaporate, but he will encourage us, and he will do what is impossible for us. I've seen him do that many, many times.

So, why not get back on the bike, and instead of pedaling like mad, ask him to pull you to the top of the hill. It's a great view!

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