How to Keep it Simple When Life is Not

The world as you know it just fell apart.

A tragic phone call arrives. A shameful secret is exposed. A betrayal happens. That financial threat becomes a reality. A loved one dies. Court papers arrive.

It feels like things will never be the same. True. They won’t. But not everything has changed. Not really. The circumstances have changed, but how we travel through life with Jesus has not changed. When life knocks the stuffing out of us, this truth is where we need to run. We need to take a deep breath and remember…

nothing about how we get through a day with God has changed. Remain calm.

My word of the year is “simple,” so I have been pondering how Christians are to keep it simple when their worlds blow up. It must be possible because of verses like this:

Jesus said, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

What in the world does this verse mean? I think part of the answer is this: No matter how surprising yesterday was…

Nothing about how to walk with God has changed.

Today, no matter what your circumstances, you can live like you have lived every other day prior to today.

Give the day to God. Depend on him all day long, then go to bed.

  • God spins the world, not you.
  • God has power to work all things for good, we don’t.
  • God is unchanging, our circumstances are not.
  • God loves you perfectly, even though everyone else in your life does not.

Keeping it simple means living life on the left-hand side of this list.

  • God spins the world.
  • God has power to work all things for good.
  • God is unchanging.
  • God loves you perfectly.

But when stress hits, we trade in the left side of the list for the right…

  • We wear the weight of the world on our shoulders.
  • We try to fix our circumstances.
  • We link our level of happiness to our ever-changing circumstances.
  • We expect people to love us well and when they don’t, we fall apart.

Hmm, no wonder life feels hard and heavy when we live like that.

So let’s dare to keep it simple. Let’s dare to live on the left side of the list when life crushes us. Here is what we will find out:

  • the world will survive while we sleep,
  • God will enter our circumstances and do things we could not have orchestrated if we had tried,
  • life will feel less chaotic because our life is in God,
  • though people in our life love us imperfectly, we are okay, because God loves us perfectly 100% of the time.

That’s some of what this verse means: “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

So next time you get that phone call that changes your life, or receive a bill that threatens ruin, or that snarky kid mouths off, or that routine day faces you yet again for the tenth year in a row…breathe

  • Walk with Jesus each day like you always have.
  • Go to bed each night.

It is that simple, and it is the only simple thing that will get you through.


Picture Explanation: In my quest to keep life simple this week no matter what my circumstances, these people have been my simple focus. My job is to love these people well, plain and simple. Whatever is best for them, I do. What is best for them does not mean to cater to them or erase their struggles in the moment but rather live a life that allows them to see Jesus in me, to speak truth without strings attached, and to stay out of the way, so Jesus can have their way with each of them.

© 2018 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

6 Responses

  1. Such a great reminder for us all. Fixing our eyes on Jesus will help us to keep “living on the left.” Remembering that He loves us 100% of the time, no matter the circumstances, encourages my heart. Thank you, Laurie!

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