Many of my memories as a child are in broken up in pieces. I remember specifically one afternoon after my mom got my sisters and I from school, we went to the sonic drive thru. I used to love sonic back in the day. I remember sensing on this day in particular something seemed off with my mom. After she ordered she started to sob. I was in shock because I had never seen my mom cry that much.
There was a lot going on with one of my other siblings and it was causing a lot of stress for her. I felt compassion towards my mom in that moment. She was fighting so hard to rise above in that season. I hated to see her sad. It confused me as a child but it also showed me adults struggle too. I learned a lot that day as I watched her. I now know she was also having to make very difficult decisions in that season for those she loved.
This memory has surfaced so many times as of late. Today I read a quote from one of my new social media friends, Karly. This morning she shared on Instagram,
“Do the hard thing.”
Can I just be honest for a sec? Loving people is hard. It even feels weird to type that out. It doesn’t even feel right to say, but it’s true. Loving people is hard.
When we love, we sacrifice.
When we love, we do things we don’t necessarily want to do.
When we love, we exhaust our efforts, our time, and our energy.
When we love, we make difficult decisions.
I look at the life of Jesus and many of the people he dealt with were more than difficult.
I’ll be frank, people treated Jesus like crap. They were ungrateful, undeserving, and mean to Him.
Yet, Jesus did the hard thing because loving people was who he was. Whether they were believers or not, he persevered because he knew what his purpose was on earth: to love.
Are you willing to do the hard stuff for those you love? Are you willing to lay your desires and longing for comfort down so others can know who Jesus is? Are you willing to forgive out of love, even when your anger wants to linger? Are you wiling to show kindness to others whose words have caused so much pain inside of you or in those you love?
I wrestle with these same questions. As I ponder, I don’t know if I have it in me to answer yes to each one. Sometimes people are exhausting. I get tired and burnt out. Instead of throwing my hands up and quitting which seems like the easiest route, I have to make myself pause and remember the life of Jesus. I remember how he responded, how he loved, and what he did, even for me. I remember my mom and her sacrifice in that season. If they can do it, I can do it. If they can do it, YOU can do it.
I declare it again: Loving people is hard. It will push you beyond your means, beyond your efforts, and beyond your energy. Some weeks you will feel like you’re hanging by a thread. That is me this week if I am being honest. One thing is for sure…
We can “do the hard thing.”
We have it in us because Jesus is in us. We can rise above, rise up, and love those who even don’t want to receive it because that’s what Jesus did. This is who he is and that is who we are.
“But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High. For he is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. ” Luke 6:35-36