Sometimes we have to do what we just don’t want to do: Get out of bed; go to work; cook dinner; drive across town (in rush hour traffic); spend time with the kids after working hard all day; or being friends with someone you’d rather not be bothered with. We sometimes have to do what we don’t want to do because we have been given a divine mandate to stick and stay. We have to keep fighting and we don’t have the option of giving up or walking away. Our lot is clear and no amount of murmuring and complaining will change the fact that sometimes we have to do what we just don’t want to do. Murmuring and complaining about our duties, especially when they’re divinely given, speak loudly to the distrust we have in God to help us endure or even enjoy what we have been given to do. I know I have a hard time fathoming enjoyment when I really feel tortured, but too many times God has shown me the good that comes from enduring a tough situation for me not to try to have a pleasant attitude about something I simply hate.
Some years ago when I had to be friends with someone who was so opposite of me God told me that she was like ‘a pretty pair of new shoes, lovely on the outside but your feet hurt when you put them on.’ Even though this friendship on the surface was one that I thought was just lovely, as we began to go deeper in our relationship, I wanted to take off. Just like kicking off shoes that make your feet hurt, I wanted to end my friendship so I could get some relief from the suspicion and overall insecurity that plagued our relationship. But like breaking in a new pair of shoes, I had to continue “wearing” this friendship until it became comfortable. I couldn’t just expect the friendship to immediately be like my old comfy pair; I had to do some hard walking to break the relationship in. I had to have the hard talks, take the tough words, and work through the rough patches. This is our charge whatever the situation or relationship. When we have a divine mandate, we have to travel the tough terrain knowing that’s the only way change for the better will occur. We can’t be afraid to step on rocks or let our relationship shoes get wet. God will protect our ordered steps. He is the orchestrator of all things divine, and He knows what we need and what it takes to get us there. Sometimes we have to put on some hurting shoes to help us make the journey, and we and the “shoes” will be the better for the wearing.