When I first read “Do Hard Things” I was extremely encouraged. I really wanted to make a difference and defy the stereotypes of teenagers. But there was one problem.
I was too busy.
I never had time to do the things I desired to do to make a difference, and I often times felt stressed out. It frustrated me because I really wanted to do incredible things for God, but it was neglected.
Why would I be put in such a busy season, where I feel like I can’t reach my best potential for God?
I’ve come to realize that God wants me to do hard things in the opportunities He’s given me. I can do hard things right where I am. Like at school, in church and on my volleyball team, without taking the extra effort and filling my schedule to the maximum capacity.
It can also be easy to make life feel like a task or a checklist of things we need to get done. We go through all the things we need to do in a day, but we just do them to get them over with, instead of using them as opportunities. When we have the mindset of “just wanting to get it done,” the value of our tasks disappear. It becomes pointless if we’re doing it for our own sakes instead of God’s.
Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” I want to encourage you, don’t give up on doing good, where God has you and what He has called you to do. It will pay off and be rewarding. The opportunities God gives us are so important and shouldn’t be wasted!
Although doing big things is important, the little hard things are also hard and can make a difference. Luke 16:10 says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” In the end, God is in control of everything and His timing is perfect. He has each one of us right where He wants us to be.
I’ve also learned that it’s okay to say “no.” We weren’t made to please people so we don’t need to say “yes” to everything. God doesn’t call us to do everything, that’s why He made each of us unique with different gifts. It takes discernment and courage to say “no,” but we can do that with the Holy Spirit.
It’s okay to not do everything everyone asks you to do. It’s okay to let people down (within reason). And with that perspective, sometimes God calls us to rest. Taking time for ourselves so we can regain our energy is good. When we are completely exhausted, we can’t do everything well, or sometimes anything right.
Resting can seem lazy and like it’s the opposite of doing hard things, but it helps us to do our hard things better. Taking the necessary time to regroup and connect with God is important because we have the right mindset.In whatever season God puts us in, we can make the most of it to glorify God. Sometimes we’re busy and other times we feel like there’s nothing to do. We can trust His timing and do what He has called us to do.
Ainsley, this is a beautiful blog post! While I loved “Do Hard Things”, I actually had to put the book down for a while. I was becoming depressed because I felt my little offering wasn’t enough for God. And that’s when I personally had to realize something: I was saved by grace through faith, not through my own works so that I wouldn’t boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). And how freeing that is! My offering may not be a whole lot, but it is the most I can offer I offer it whole-heartedly. Sometimes it is important to remember that God is our First Love, not the “hard things” we can do for Him.
Understanding grace a bit better, I can now read books like “Do Hard Things” with no problem. I can live boldly and do hard things for Christ. But I now realize (or try to understand) that the hard things I do for God’s kingdom are done to the best of my abilities and (hopefully) done out of love for God.
It’s like the widow. She gave humbly gave all her money to God and His church. Her heart was in the right place, unlike the others.
Sometimes the little, seemingly mundane hard things are more meaningful than a huge hard thing.
Excellent post, Ainsley!
That’s great! I totally get it! Though my hard thing requires me to have a free schedule.
I really needed this post. I have been struggling with this exact thing ever since I started school this year (and my schedule got really busy). I was wondering how I could do big hard things, forgetting that hard things can be little as well. Thank you for this awesome and encouraging post.
Thanks for the reminder that in serving God and others I can’t say yes to everything and that, yes, it is okay and beneficial to rest!
Love this article, Ainsley! Such an important message. Proud of you! <3