As I read my Bible, it just seems that everyone is making godly living so difficult and so out-of-reach. God gives 10 commandments, He asks us to love Him and our neighbors and ourselves, to consult Him all-the-time, to enjoy the life He has given us, to live with a freedom that only a believer can really experience. And yet–you know what I’m going to say. We make our Christian life so difficult. Maybe I should speak only for myself. I fret…I worry…I plan and then remember to ask God to bless MY plans…I bicker and complain, judge and criticize. Or I try and try to figure out God’s will for my life or maybe just for the next week or month. What should I do, specifically? I want to know but He’s in His quiet mood. So, I sit around, moping, waiting for His call…and more waiting. All of the above adds not one blessing to my daily enjoyment of life in Jesus. And I know that. I know what I’m doing. We’re not stupid, are we? Or is it just me, so inclined? Doubt it! The Word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai in the Old Testament. God’s people are returning to the land of Israel from years and years in exile in Babylon, and are being encouraged to complete the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar . But the people are just so discouraged, so down-heartened with this small, dull and unglamourous Temple of the Lord. They’re stuck in their past. Remembering and remembering a glory that is no more. So, God asks that remnant a good question–‘who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?'(verse 3) I look back on my life– it’s not what it should have been, what it could have been…but so what? I can’t live in the past. Hopefully, I can and have learned a few things from those times and troubles. But now is the time, the Lord says, to ‘be strong’…’be strong’…’be strong’–‘and work’. Do what you know you can and want to do for Him. I’m going to keep on blogging and writing and giving out tracts and working toward that devotional book that’s on my heart and mind and soul. Those desires, I believe, have come from the Lord Himself to me. And to you? And stop worrying and calculating burning up those little gray cells. He says that ‘For I am with you’ (verse 4) and that ‘my Spirit remains among you’ (verse 5). He’s with me now…He’s with you now! Don’t make life so difficult. He says 3 times to be strong as if the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit will be right there shoulder-to-shoulder with us giving us His and their strength to do the work that our heart calls us to do. He gives us those desires that are in our hearts, and He’ll give us the strength to fulfill those very desires. But don’t just sit back and be a spiritual couch-potato. He says to work…to get busy for Him…forget the fears and worries, and begin to lean into the wind of the Holy Spirit –and just see where His boat takes us. It’s going to be a great ride. Smooth sailing ahead! Head winds, sure! They’ll just move us along even faster! Are you with me? Be strong…and work!