Life is really, really hard. And then it gets harder. And then you die.

Several years ago I came up with a relative definition of “adult.” The more responsibility you have, the more of an adult you are. This definition is not based on age, or even experience, but rather on a level of assumed responsibility. That means a 22-year-old with a spouse, two kids, full time job and house payment is more of an adult than the 35-year-old living in an apartment with a part-time job and an xbox. (As if that was hard to tell.) But I think the definition works for more nuanced situations as well.

Horses don’t just slaughter themselves, you know

Life is going to be hard whether you live as a 22-year-old producer or 35-year-old siphon. That’s the short of it. Yet the more responsibility you take on, the more complicated and difficult it becomes. Add to that a determination to live for God and you have a divine edict promising it will be.

Life is really, really hard, and then it gets harder, and then you die. This is actually a hopeful realization. It means that the difficulties in life are to be expected and that there isn’t full joy until we see Jesus face to face on the other side of this life. It allows us to not get frustrated when what we thought would bring us joy just ends up being a burden.

The joy comes not in the things themselves, nor in the work itself. Our tilled earth is cursed and nothing grows without toil. But just as God promises hardships, he also promises a measure of joy surpassing the hardship when the work is done for Him.

So keep working. And don’t let the work be done in vain. Life is really hard with or without God. But with God, there is hope.

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