After a recent parental melt down (and intervention from my hero husband) Isaiah made this profound observation:
"Dad, it seems like it's hard to be a parent with kids around."
The boy is on to something. It's often said that the people with the strongest opinions about raising kids are those who don't have any. Lots of advice but zero credentials. They haven't learned the obvious wisdom in Isaiah's comment yet. But the same simple truth could be applied to a lot of things. For example:
It's hard to be an astronaut with gravity around.
It's hard to be a chicken with wolves around.
Basically, anything can look or sound easy until you meet your first obstacle. Have you ever wanted to tell your Abba/Daddy that "it's hard to be a Christian with sin around?"
Tim and I have always tried to be transparent because to us, if this Jesus stuff doesn't work in the hardest, scariest, most painful, most hurtful moments of real life then it doesn't work at all. Because real life is hard, scary, painful, and hurtful. Sometimes all at once. But that's the beauty of following Jesus. He lived real life. Just like us. None of the obstacles were removed. In fact, his suffering removed my greatest obstacle which was this enormous chasm between myself and God.
What's my point? Two things:
--My life doesn't have to be (and will never be) a smooth and unhindered path through meadows of flowers with money falling from the clouds. If this is what your church teaches, they are liars. And you already know that they are liars because no matter how hard you try your life never looks like that. And they know they are liars because no matter how they fluff, tuck, make up, or hair spray it their lives don't truly look that way either.
--I don't have to (and never should) isolate myself from the world and the people in it so that being a Christian will somehow look easier without the influence of sin. If this is what your church teaches, they are mistaken. Jesus died for the world of people you are hiding from. And the truth is if I (or you) lived in a sterilized bubble, sin would still be there because I am there.