The Dreaded Process

I sprained my knee when I was a kid and didn’t tell anyone.

I didn’t know at the time that it was only a sprained knee… the horrendous pain made me believe it was something much worse. I didn’t want to go to the hospital because of a string of irrational thoughts that immediately gathered in my mind.

What if it’s broken and they have to reset the bone?

I’ve heard that’s the worst pain you can live through, and I’d rather not experience it for myself.

What if it’s so bad that I need surgery? What if during the surgery the anesthesia doesn’t work, and I can feel everything and I scream but nobody can hear me and I am trapped in my own mind?

I might die. If I DON’T die, I’ll be using crutches for weeks and I’ll wish I was dead because everyone will make fun of me for being more awkward than usual.

I’ll probably be bedridden and my mom will have to change my diaper, and I’d rather just live with the pain forever than go through all (or any) of the above.

We went on a trip the day after I hurt my knee. I needed to limp to ease the pain, but the fear of going to the doctor caused me to try to walk as normally as possible (which almost killed me).

After three days, the jig was up. I accidentally staggered in public, and my hugely swollen and grotesquely multicolored knee was found and treated.

I didn’t have any lasting issues from that sprained knee. But if I had mentioned the injury right when it happened, there’s a chance that I wouldn’t have suffered as much as I did. An ice pack and a bandage wrapped around it for a couple of days completely eased the pain and I was back to normal quickly. I realized after that incident that it would have been worth facing my fears to have enjoyed that weekend instead of suffering silently for three days.

So we continue to preach Christ to each person, using all wisdom to warn and to teach everyone, in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature person in Christ.  | Colossians 1:28

Anything worth doing is going to demand something from you. Whether it’s facing your fears, time, money or energy, a worthy task will require a sacrifice every time. When the sacrifice is small and the cost isn’t much, the choice is easy. Answer the Call. Engage the task. Serve the Lord.

But when the sacrifice is large and the cost is significant, we hesitate. We hesitate because of the time it will take to complete. We hesitate because it might be the kind of work we don’t enjoy doing. We hesitate because we imagine all the ways that we may be negatively affected if we obey. We hesitate because if we’re really, truly honest with ourselves, there’s a part of us hidden deep down that is just a little too lazy to find out.

It all begins with a promise –God promises to never leave us. He promises that life is better (though not always easier) with Him than without Him. He promises that if we submit our lives to Him, we will gain an eternal reward.

Everything ends with a payoff –God rewards us with the most amazing reward we could ever imagine…to spend eternity with Him. But in between the promise and the payoff is the process. And the process is the hard part.

From the moment you hear the promise until the moment you receive the payoff, you are living the process. This is when you have the opportunity to embrace the purpose for which God created you.

But, let’s make this absolutely clear, God has created you for a purpose and He loves you enough to equip you with what you need for your purpose. But that doesn’t mean your calling will be any easier than anyone else’s. Your calling will demand from you what it demanded from many before you who chose to walk the narrow way.

As many amazing leaders as there are around us today, there are also countless more who will never lead because they are too afraid to engage the work and are unwilling to make the necessary sacrifice.

As you listen for your calling, remember that anything worth doing is going to demand something from you.

Let’s not miss out on our purpose because we feel like it’s too hard.

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