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"When Everything Gets Easy"

"I pull you close to me

when this life cuts deep

But when everything gets easy

it's easy not to keep you first." (Riley Clemmons, "When Nothing Hurts")

I wish I could take credit for these incredible lyrics, but I can own the fact that they are as true for me as if I wrote them myself. Last night, after a particularly stupid mistake by yours truly, I lay in bed desperately trying to stop obsessing about how I could have acted differently. I had made a poor judgment call and couldn't stop catastrophizing. Needless to say, it was a long night. Really, reeeeeally long.

My coping mechanism in those dark, wakeful moments was prayer. The desperate, clinging, heaven-reaching kind that needs God to step in right now to save us from our own anxieties, to give us peace when we can't find a trace of it anywhere, if only to get us through the night. We've all been there. We've all found ourselves in that dead-end place where the only way to look is up, and so we do. Desperately. Pleadingly.

But why do we wait until we reach a dead end?

I said it before, and I will say it again: I am as guilty of this as anyone. "When nothing hurts," so to speak, I find it easy to slip into a rut—going through the motions, checking the boxes, but letting my intimacy with God take a backseat until, of course, I find myself in desperate need of Him. It's not a deliberate choice, per se; I don't wake up, check the forecast for the day, and send God a quick, "Yup, looks like I'm good on my own today. Same time tomorrow?" No, I know that I need Him. I know that my relationship with Him is designed to enhance times of peace and joy as much as to assist in times of need.

But when everything is easy, it's easy not to keep Him first.

As is the case in most realms of life, what is easy is not always what is best.

I was right to go to God with my anxieties last night. You are right to let your needs bring you to your knees before Him. Never let Satan convince you that needing God shows a lack of faith, that breaking down before God is a failure, that coming to God in the desperate times makes you nothing but a leech upon His goodness. No, God is ready and waiting to receive our prayers in those dark, desperate moments. But He is also ready and waiting in the times of blessing and peace. And too often, we keep Him waiting, don't we?

I don't know what your day looks like. Maybe the forecast is all thundershowers and hail and if that is the case, get down and look up and pour yourself out before God. There is no shame in it, only incredible strength to be gained . . . but maybe you don't feel like you need strength at all. Maybe the forecast is sunshine and rainbows, peace and prosperity, smooth sailing all the way.

Get down, look up, and pour yourself out before God anyway.

When everything gets easy, let's do the hard thing—keep Him first.

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