“Why does life have to be so hard?”
I heard this from a friend recently and it touched my soul. I remember very well the same cry coming from my heart and out of my mouth so many times over the years.
It is a question that bounces around in the minds of people everywhere.
When I returned to the Lord and made a new commitment to learning about God and getting to know Him, this question still haunted me. But in my journey back to God one thing He repeats to me is to ask Him. Ask Him questions. Ask and He will answer.
So, I finally asked, “Why?” It was during a difficult time. Finances, marriage, children, health…life was a mess! I spent about a year in a pity party because I didn’t understand why I could be doing the right things and keep seeing such poor results! Why did God’s word speak about more than enough and peace that passes understanding yet I lacked in every area of my life?
Over time – after I asked God & became still enough to hear His answer – God showed me why. Why is there pain? Why is it that we choose to obey God, get in church, read the Word, & pray and then it seems like the world starts to fall apart around us?
It turns out, God had the answer. He gave it in a parable that Jesus told 2000 years ago. And understanding this parable CHANGED my life.m If you’re like me, you’ve heard this parable many times from the King James version. It sounds really good, but to be honest – it went right over my head or it just offered more problems than solutions. We hear it and go, “Yep, that’s me.“ Then we feel condemned and shamed so we think that we’re destined to not see a harvest of God’s goodness in our lives.
One day, after asking for answers, God led me to the Parable of the Sower. (Matthew 13 & Mark 4) I got stuck there and couldn’t move on. Jesus said, “If you don’t understand this parable, how will you understand all the others?” So, I knew it was important. I knew it held a key. I read & re-read. Finally – pieces started to fall into place.
God is the Sower (so He is hoping for a harvest) and the seed sown is the Word of God. IT is precious. The seed (by nature) reproduces after its own kind and produces a harvest on its own. A seed is powerful – especially when that seed is the living Word of God.
Why don’t we always experience this harvest then? That’s what Jesus was showing us.
- We don’t understand it – then we just move on so we don’t reap any harvest from that Word (Seed). The Bible is clear that when we don’t understand something if we will ask that God will give us wisdom. (James 1:5) So, if we don’t understand the Word or God’s promises we should ask. If we don’t ask and we just move on then we won’t see a harvest from that particular Word, Scripture, or Promise. Now, when I come across a scripture that befuddles me or just goes over my head, I say a quick prayer like, “God, I don’t get that. Please help me understand.” Then I move on and sure enough…moments, days, or weeks later He will lead me across the answer, have a pastor teach on it, or show me a book that clarifies it! If any of you lack understanding, get understanding! Ask & you will receive. Knock & the door will be opened. Seek & you will find.
- The next reason we don’t see a harvest, Jesus explains, is that the seed is sown, we understand it, and get excited about it. But before it can produce a harvest in our lives, ‘trouble or persecution comes BECAUSE OF THE WORD’! Some translations say, “For the Word’s sake” trouble & persecution come. Oh, how this changed me! I started to see how trouble, problems, persecutions came to steal the Word of God out of my heart & my mouth so that I wouldn’t see the promised harvest in my life! THAT is why life is so hard. It wasn’t some unfair plot by God to ‘keep me humble and confused’! God sows the Word in our lives! He doesn’t sow His promises unless He hopes to see a harvest. The troubles in this life are part of a plot by the enemy of our souls to keep that Word from producing & reproducing in this life!
- Finally, (and this one was the hardest to swallow) the last reason Jesus gave for the Word not producing in our lives was more internal than external. KJV translates the scripture as this, “the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word,” but that never really seemed to click with me. I didn’t feel like I could connect. So, I decided to look up the Greek words and study their meaning. What I found stopped me in my tracks. The Greek words there mean worries, anxieties, feelings (emotions), and seductions of this life choke the word. Well, I had allowed my emotions, anxieties, seductions, & worries to run my life for SO LONG! I didn’t realize they were actually choking off the word before it could produce the desired harvest in my life!
As I studied this parable and focused on what it meant, I became VERY protective of the Word. If the troubles that came my way were there to steal the Word out of my mouth and my heart then wasn’t that the very thing I should keep focused on? In a battle, isn’t it wise to understand your enemy’s tactics? Well, now I knew. The enemy of my soul was coming to steal the Word so I decided to guard the Word even closer and not be distracted & discouraged by troubles. This can be HARD. I’m not trying to make it sound easy. But when you begin to make these choices, you will start to see the Word of God you’re believing to come to pass in your life.
I also became wary of the “enemy inside” and saw that my own feelings, emotions, worries, anxieties, and seductions were not my friend. God didn’t give them to lead me or guide me – especially when they don’t agree with His Word. If I allowed my feelings to outweigh my faith in the Word of God then those feelings would choke out the desired harvest! If I allowed worry to saturate my mind rather than the hope & peace I find in God’s word, then that worry would choke off the answer God was trying to send me! If I allowed what I “felt like doing” to be more important to me than what God’s word was clear that I should be doing, then my feelings were going to knockout my chance for an answer to my problems.
This parable changed my life. It truly did help me to understand so much more of God’s Word. I encourage you to read this parable in various translations and ask God for understanding. I pray He will show you what to do and how to counteract the enemy’s tactics in your life so that you can see a full realization of God’s word & promises in your life.
Just remember, once you start on this path the enemy will throw everything he has at you to distract & discourage you, but if you focus on God’s word, guard it with all your might, and find your joy in it – then you will see a harvest. It can be hard to focus on God’s word when circumstances are screaming at you and trying to get you distracted, discouraged, and depressed. But God is not a liar and He will not be mocked – whatsoever you sow, you will reap. (Galatians 6:7)
Sow the Word of God in your heart each day. Guard it. Understand the enemy’s tactics to steal & choke out the Word in your life. Then wait and see as God produces a harvest of blessing, peace, wisdom, and joy.