Bob Marley is quoted saying, “If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you won’t give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy…truth is everybody is going to hurt you. You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”
I read this quote the other day and it sparked several thoughts in my head. Finding the right person isn’t about it being easy. It’s about not giving up and trusting God. In general, I feel like people have given up on relationships. The expectation is ‘true love’ is a spark and an awesome connection; that once you find “it” you are head-over-heels and the rest is easy. I really, truly, honestly, sincerely believe this is complete crap. And not even remotely true. I think you find a person you admire, connect with and genuinely believe is who God partners you with…then you spend the rest of your life trying to figure how to make it work for a lifetime. There’s no simple recipe. There’s no easy road. (And maybe not everyone is destined to find somebody. And really...that's okay!)
There is absolutely nothing easy about a relationship, marriage, etc. There is no easy road…it is always going to be the road less traveled. But that’s life. And as Bob Marley so eloquently stated amazing = not easy = not giving up. Sometimes in life you have to recognize the other person is amazing and worth it then make the active decision to not give up. It goes something like this:
2. Forgive and make-up.
We weren’t promised things would be easy.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
We were promised God would never forsake us. There’s a BIG difference. I can’t think of a single easy relationship in the Bible. But I can think of tons of relationships (or maybe just 3 at the moment!) that God carried through on his promise to not forsake us during tough times:
Adam & Eve – call me crazy but I am going to venture to say that when God called on Adam regarding whether he had eaten from the fruit and he responded with “The woman you put here with me- she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it” – things weren’t ‘peachy’ in Adam and Eve’s relationship. As Adam and Eve were listening to the curses bestowed to mankind due to their actions, I’m quite certain that wasn’t an “easy moment” in their relationship.
But they persevered…Genesis 3 ends with God banishing them from the garden but Genesis 4 opens with “Adam made love to his wife Eve”. Fail. Forgive and make-up. Repeat.
Jacob & Rachel - Jacob was in love with Rachel but in order to receive her hand in marriage, her dad made Jacob work 7 years for her. And even after the 7 years of work, her father gave her younger sister (who Jacob was not in love with!) to him. Her dad basically deceived him into marrying Leah. So he had to work another 7 years in order to marry his true love, Rachel. So in total…Jacob pursued his love for 14 years before he could have her. He didn’t give up. He didn’t settle for less. He knew she was his love and he worked for it. And I’m sure it wasn’t easy.
And the story continues with Leah having lots of babies and Rachel remaining barren. Naturally Rachel became sad and ultimately jealous. Rachel actually said to Jacob in Genesis 30:1 “give me children or I’ll die!”. How’s that for martial tension?
Mary & Joseph - The embarrassment and/or feelings associated with having a child out of wedlock was real to Mary and Joseph and I’m going to guess it is very real to many of you…except this occurred in a time this was absolutely not acceptable. And to make matters worse, they experienced this humiliation without actually ever having sex. Joseph was going to divorce her: Matthew 1:19 “Because Joseph, her husband, was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly”.
I wonder how that conversation would have gone…Mary, I love you and everything but I am going to divorce you because you are pregnant with the Savior. This is not what I signed up for.
Thankfully…God promises us he won’t forsake us. And he changed Joseph’s heart. And 9 months later…there was a Savior in a manager.
Nowhere in the Bible does he promise life will be easy. Or if you trust Him you are going to have the best, easiest, longest-lasting relationship. He promises to never forsake you. And that should be the promise you make to your partner.
So when you find the one that is in Bob’s words “worth suffering for”…remember it won’t be easy. But God promises not to forsake us. And in His example, we should not forsake each other.
Fail, forgive and Bob Marley,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.