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I saw the above sign hanging in a shop in Thailand. I wanted to write in marker beneath the sign, “Promise?”

Admittedly, I have often wished for a hurdle-free existence.

The words, “Why must this be so hard?” are not foreign to my lips.

When I look over the landscape that is my life, I acknowledge that the road has not been easy. At many times in my (relatively young) life, I have experienced hard struggles: health, emotional, spiritual.

(Disclaimer: I do not own the trademark on difficulty. I know many people whose lives have been much more complicated than my own.)

But here is what my life has taught me thus far: Without the difficulties, I would not know grace. Without the trials, I would not understand mercy. Without the temptations, I would not experience deliverance.

It is a difficult thing to verbalize–indeed it goes to the core of our most painful situations–but trials are God’s goodness in our lives. Without them, we wouldn’t know how much we need God.

And to live a God-free life would be the worst existence of all.

Life is hard. But God is good. And if difficulty is the price I must pay to know God and love Him more, then bring on the hurdles.


  1. E. Johnson says:

    Amen! I was thinking about that just this morning. Without the darkness of our own sinfulness, we would not appreciate the light of our Saviour!

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