It’s Too Hard

Blog 5.9.2022

It’s Too Hard

Theo and Cooper are testing Amanda’s and my patience lately. They have been pushing their limits in every available direction. Testing boundaries and seeing what they can get away with before crossing that imaginary line of parental longsuffering. In the midst of this independence extravaganza, they also imagine new stall tactics to keep from doing things that they don’t find enjoyable. Things like naps, putting on shoes, or brushing teeth are met with the same hesitancy and reluctance. However, instead of saying they don’t want to do something, they loudly exclaim, “It’s too hard!” Refusing to do whatever the suggested task is. It is difficult to explain to a 4 and 3-year-old that just because something is hard does not mean you don’t have to do it. Cooper has taken this defiance to a whole new level lately. He now says the often decreed “It’s too hard” even with pleasurable activities. Example script below.

Mom/Dad: Cooper, you need to eat your cake before you can have ice cream.

 Cooper: It’s too hard. The cake is hard. Eating is hard. (Begins to wail loudly) 

It would be beyond comical if it weren’t so frustrating and feel free to laugh at our circumstance. I’m sure that we can all resonate with the notion that life is hard. Cooper is not wrong. Even the most pleasurable things in life can be difficult. Very few people are granted the opportunity to grow up and live on Easy Street. In Romans 5:3-4, Paul correlates that without suffering, you lack character, and perhaps you have met those individuals that lack those character-building conditions. Therefore, even the best things in life must be worked for beforehand to enjoy them later. However, as we mature and grow, we realize that many things require hard work for them to become a reality in our lives. We recognize that there is a trade-off, the difficult for the pleasurable. It calls to my mind the example of Christ and the challenge issued by the writer of Hebrews. 

Hebrews 12:1-4 

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”

The writer of Hebrews acknowledges that our race is brutal. He just finished the chapter recounting all of the challenging circumstances that people of faith have been enduring since the beginning of time. God asks those who follow him to do really demanding tasks all of the time. God places their comfort, livelihood, and even their lives in the balance time and time again. This is not an ideal covered up in the scriptures. Throughout Jesus’ ministry, he made statements like, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58), and “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). Each one of these statements is full of hardship and difficulty. And to think that Jesus’ earthly life, so full of adversity, ended with death on a cross. Framed in this light, it almost makes the challenge of following Christ too much to bear. However, the passage in Hebrews gives us hope. Jesus did all of this not for his own advantage but for all of those who will follow him. Jesus endured the shame, the cross, and the hostility of the world so that we might not grow weary and give up. Jesus also had a much different end in mind. His end was not solely his accomplishments on earth but returning to the throne room of God. This should also change our perspective so that when life becomes impossible to bear, when we want to cry out, “It’s too hard!” We adjust our mindset, setting our focus and thoughts on Jesus and running the race set before us.