Why You Shouldn't Pray For Life To Be Easy
We feel devastated when things change - after all, we’ve found stability and safety in the way things are right this minute. They’re familiar and comfortable, and we know how to act and react there.
If we prayed for everything in our lives to be easy, we would stay in that stable, comfortable place. We’d feel exactly like we do right this minute, and we’d know what was coming in the future because it would be more of the same.
Do we really want more of the same?
When I taught fourth grade for a year, we didn’t welcome the students on the first day of school and promise them that they would leave in nine months the same child they were when they walked in. No, we told them about all the things we planned for the year - topics, field trips, activities that would help them learn new and wonderful things. It was exciting to see their faces light up with all these amazing new possibilities.
If we had promised no change, no growth, no improvement and no increase of knowledge, their parents probably would have come and taken them to a different school. The whole idea behind getting an education is to learn and grow and change with each passing year. If they read the same books and did the same activities every year from kindergarten to college, they would still have the mind and experiences of a five year old when they should have been thinking on an 18-year-old level.
Praying for God to make life easy, to take away all of our burdens and troubles, is like asking a teacher to never introduce new topics. We’re stalled right where we are because desiring “easy” means turning down an opportunity to grow and change the way God would see us grow and change. Here seems nice, but we don’t have even a glimpse of the possibilities that await us.
He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance. So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands. Psalm 78:70-72
David might have been completely content caring for his father’s sheep, watching over them and guiding them. Until the Lord called him out to be a leader of men, he did his job to the best of his ability. He might have been the greatest shepherd in the history of the world, but God had another plan for David.
God’s plan involved David running away from the people he loved most. It involved heartache, death, fear and times of bitter defeat. But David didn’t pray for life to be easy, to just life his days sitting on the royal throne and playing his harp. Leaning back relaxing wouldn’t have done anything for his character.
Knowing full well that David would need these experiences in his life, God brought Saul, Jonathan, Samuel, Bathsheba, Uriah and many other people across his path for very specific reasons. They would change him, grow him, increase his knowledge and give him life experiences that he wouldn’t have had any other way. Change was necessary for David to be the man after God’s own heart he was at the end of his life.
The plans God has for you and me will take shape the same way. We could sit just as we are right now for the rest of our lives, but all we’d get would be blisters from an uncomfortable chair. Without change, difficult times and challenge that stretch us to our limits, we’ll never know exactly what our limits are. Without giving a test every now and then, we wouldn’t put in the preparation time and be prepared to show God what we know and what we’ve learned from Him.
When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. Psalm 94:18-19
Just as Jesus (our perfect example) prayed in the garden, we can always ask God to take this cup from us, but it must be in His timing and in His permissive will. If we don’t do the spiritual workouts now, we’ll never be prepared for the heavy lifting He wants to have us do in the future. Our faithfulness, prayer and obedience today will set the stage for what He has waiting for us tomorrow.