For some reason, my young children didn’t like to have their hair washed. When they protested, I would tell them, “Do you want to do it the hard way or the easy way? Either way, I’m going to wash your hair.” Children don’t always follow reason and they usually choose the hard way. However, after a few washes the hard way, they begin to cooperate with only verbal protests. With persistence on my part, they begin doing it the easy way without a complaint. A hair wash becomes a peaceful event.
God deals with us in the same way. He has a plan for us and as a good father, He will bring us to maturity. He asks us, “Do you want to do it the hard way or the easy way? Either way, My plan for you will be accomplished.” The easy way is to submit to His will. The hard way is to assert our will. As a young child, we usually choose the hard way.
I spent four long years in the US Navy. It was a hard time for me. At the time, I thought I was being treated unfairly. However, looking back I saw that I had issues in my life that my Father wanted me to deal with. In hindsight, I can say that I failed the test. I chose the hard way and asserted my will and failed to yield to God’s dealings in my life. If I had chosen the easy way, my experience would still have been unpleasant. However, a proper attitude would have made the situation more bearable and I would have matured sooner. So now I can say that I’m glad I was in the Navy even though I would not do it again.
Most people are like strong-willed children and repeatedly choose the hard way. Thankfully our Father is much more patient than we are. He bears with us for a long time. Contrary to what many believe, our Father knows how to train His children and He will succeed. He is God and we are not.
Some will take much more time than others. Some will require more severe discipline than others. His love for the whole world will bring everyone into maturity for every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.
Many will not reach maturity in this age. They will not be overcomers and will not receive the reward that could have been theirs. But like the child who resists hair washes, they will eventually submit to their heavenly Father’s will.
And there will be peace on Earth.