When It's NOT Easy...
Updated: Jul 2, 2021
By Debbie Christopher
Not too long ago, I ‘snickered’ out loud as our Pastor read from 2 Kings 3. I wasn’t being disrespectful, matter of fact, I was actually acknowledging the simplicity God often uses to capture our attention.
I snickered when he read 2 Kings 3:18 and immediately created this image. It was a verse I wanted to always remember!
Now, before we continue, you should know that as an educator, I intentionally try to stay away from the phrase, "This is easy!” Teachers and children’s ministry workers should do the same and not tell a child that something is easy. All children are not on the same level in reading, comprehending, memorizing, or in physical ability. Indicating that a particular skill, concept, verse, or project is easy knocks many kiddos for ‘a loop,’ so to speak. It could actually cause humiliation and embarrassment because it is NOT easy for them!
Even as adults, we can face the same discouragement. For example, when someone shares a really cute craft project and states, “…and it’s easy!”, I roll my eyes and say, “Yeah , right…” and mentally beat myself up for being so untalented.
So, why in the world would I excitedly share a verse that says, “This is easy”? Why would God even make such a statement?
Let’s say I saw a wooden craft project on-line that would look perfect in my front room, and I spent months wishing it was hanging on my wall. If I was solely responsible for ‘doing it’, it wouldn’t be happening, especially with the beauty and quality I desired. But, if I asked a talented friend…..Well, it would be completed and hanging beautifully on my wall in just a few weeks. It WOULD BE easy…for her, and she would graciously and lovingly take care of it for me.
Are you seeing where I’m going with this?
You see, the verse states, “This is easy…IN THE LORD’S SIGHT.”
There are many times in life that we face circumstances (life bumps!) that are not easy for us. The overwhelming discouragement goes much beyond not being able to complete a seemingly ‘easy’ craft project. Life is not easy!
As we look into 2 Kings 3 (click here for passage), King Jehoshaphat and King Jehorom, along with the King of Edom, were going to battle against the Moabites. As they journeyed along, the combined army of troops soon began to run out of water in the middle of the dry season*. No water sources were in sight. They stopped along the way and approached the prophet Elisha for advice. God directed Elisha to let the kings and their armies know they needed to dig ditches in the dry streambeds. (I’m sure they scratched their heads and wondered, ‘why?’) He prefaced God’s instructions with verse 18.
This is easy in the Lord’s sight.
Elisha then assured them they would be victorious in battle and reminded them that even though they considered themselves to be in a ‘tight spot’, it was an easy situation for the Lord to handle.
As the narrative continues, it ‘just so happened’ that, even though it hadn’t rained, the ditches filled with water overnight, and the sun shone ‘just right’ on the newly formed streams the next morning. This perfect reflection made the streams look like they were flowing with blood. The Moabites thought the attacking armies had turned on each other. They proceeded with 'confidence' only to be ambushed by the armies of Israel, Judah, and Edom, who were victorious, just as Elisha had prophesied. Indeed, the solution was quite easy for the Lord!
No, life is not always easy, but the solution to those difficult circumstances, is always easy for the Lord. We just need to ask and seek His guidance.
*Barker, Kenneth L and Kohnlenberger, John R III, editors, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary- Old Testament, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.
PS to teachers and Children’s Ministry workers: Please guard your words and not use the phrase, “This is easy” as a means of encouraging your students. More often than not, it discourages much more than encourages. May God bless you all for your faithful ministry to the kiddos!