When my youngest daughter, Julia, was about four years old, she would regularly get her words mixed up and say the opposite of what she meant. If she was cold, she’d say she was hot. Upstairs was downstairs. Big was little.
You get the picture.
But the funniest opposites that Julia mixed up were “easy” and “hard.” Whenever I’d ask her to put on her coat, which is a difficult task for a small girl, she’d fall down in a heap and say (in a very whiney voice), “It’s too eeeaaassy!” Meaning, of course, that it was too hard for her to put on her coat.
We’ve laughed about that for years.
I have days in my Christian walk when I want to fall down on the floor, curl up in the fetal position, and say to God, “It’s too eeeaaassy, God!” Just like my daughter.
Some days feel momentous or difficult or challenging. Other days I just want to know what God wants from me.
How am I supposed to parent this difficult child, God?
Where do you want our family to serve you?
Do you really care that we’re struggling right now?
These are the questions I really want to shout at the Lord on those days that feel impossible.
Sometimes our kids have questions and concerns too. Mine have thrown some doozies at me; yours probably have too. On those days, where do we turn? How do we explain the big questions of life to our kids when we don’t think we have any answers ourselves?
This is when I am so grateful for the truth of God’s word.
Toward the end of the book of Deuteronomy, a book of the Bible I love so much, not for its lists of rules but for God’s grace that is written across every page, we find Moses instructing his people one last time before his death. Yes, Moses has given them a list of rules (and consequences for breaking those rules), but he’s also given them a lot of encouragement.
One particular piece of encouragement has meant a great deal to me as I’ve raised my three daughters, especially on those days I’ve questioned my own wisdom or God’s nearness to me. Here’s Moses, having just laid out the ground rules for living a life that’s pleasing to God and acknowledging that the people of Israel would have questions and doubts about their ability to carry out his instructions.
“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” (Deut. 30:11-14)
I love the encouragement that God gives through Moses. He’s telling his people that it’s not too hard to understand his commands—they are not hidden. In fact, God tells his people (and us!) that “the word is very near you.” Isn’t that great?!
God, his word, is very near.
The answers we seek, the answers our children seek, are very near.
God has spoken plainly to us, so we don’t have to be afraid or confused or misguided in this crazy world we’re living in. His word is very near.
And the best part about God? He’s on our side. He tells us in this Deuteronomy passage that he has made his instructions clear “so that you can do it.” God is our greatest cheerleader. He is FOR us! He wants to help us, especially on those days we don’t have all the answers.
I don’t know about you, but this brings me so much comfort.
God doesn’t get his opposites mixed up—he is clear what he wants from us. My job, every day, is to seek his will, to strive for obedience, and to search for truth. All of the tools I need to live “a life that is truly life” are in His word.
Mama, are you feeling confused today? Lost? Like you don’t have all the answers? Trust God’s word. Read it. Lean on it. He will give you just what you need.