Lynda Hollinger Personal Testimony
Complicated or Easy?
By Lynda Hollinger
Let me begin by saying I’ve been saved for many years; actually since I was 9 years old (When? We won’t go there!!) However, I don’t feel that I’ve actually been a “Christian” that long. A Christian, to me means living “Christ-like” and when you are nine years old you don’t actually know how to live “Christ-like”. In fact, you don’t know how to LIVE at all! I can’t give you a date of my salvation (I know it was August because we always had revival in August when I was growing up) or a time on the clock. As a matter of fact I think I was nine but I could have been ten. To me now, that is just a “complicated” issue that doesn’t bare worrying about. I DO KNOW that lying on the couch beside Momma late one evening during the revival before we went to church, I felt like I needed to be saved. It kinda scared me. I felt sick. I had a very funny feeling. I told Momma and she told me how to very simply ask God to save me and have faith that He would. I did it. I was saved. I felt a real happiness come over me, so much so that I immediately started on two of my friends that very night, trying to lead them to do what I had done. I did. They did. We were all saved and on our way to heaven together. Simple. Just like that! No, not so quick. It was too simple! A few months later I heard a man say in a testimony that if you doubted you were saved, you probably weren’t. That really scared me. Was I really saved? What if I wasn’t???? BUT I HAD DONE WHAT THE BIBLE SAID!!! I knew in my heart I was saved. But what was the date again??? I couldn’t quite remember; was it Friday or Saturday? Someone said you would never forget the DATE. I was nine (ten) years old but Satan took hold right then and saw that I was a “complicated “ little person just ripe for the picking. No one told me that the minute you are saved your troubles really start and that a battle is underway. Everyone was just so happy about my salvation that I couldn’t ask anyone what to do about the doubts Satan was daily planting in my mind. I was TOO STRONG to ask for help and I didn’t want to “disappoint” anyone. I could handle this!!! I KNEW I was saved but there was that little doubt in a little 9-(or10) year-old (PANIC! WHICH WAS IT???) mind that worried the daylights out of me! Stupid Satan! I’d like to ring his neck.!
So……. I lived a large part of my life in which almost everything I did was complicated—from what I was going to do when I got out of high school, how I was going to “manage” being a wife and mother to what was the best way to clean house and which grocery store at which to buy our food. I even found ways to “complicate” my service to God and the way I prayed. Yes, by now I had decided that if I went to Hell after I died I would go trusting in Jesus because there was just no other way. I had done what God said to do and He had indeed saved me because He said He would and that old man with the “testimony”… well…. maybe that was what he felt and I was proud the devil left him alone; it just wasn’t that way with me for some reason and Satan continued to bug me. (I found out later that is a sure sign of salvation!) I am one of those people who find it hard to believe that ANYTHING can be actually easy and simple. Satan did his work well! Simplicity was not a word in my vocabulary.
Webster defines to “complicate” as “to make or become complex; to twist or become twisted together.” If something is complicated it is “difficult or bewildering”. On the other hand, “simple” is defined as “composed of only one thing or part; not complex; easy.”
I don’t know; maybe it was an environmental or genetic thing with me. It seemed to me that my parents always had a “complicated” life trying to raise a family and make a living on the farm. Momma was not a “career” woman. She stayed at home and helped Daddy in the fields and saw to the needs of my two sisters and me. She seemed to me to have a “complicated” life because I never saw her sit down or “rest” until she became disabled. She was a worrier. She worried if we had the sniffles, if the rain was going to wash Daddy’s corn seed away or rot the potatoes. She worried about whether to wring one more chicken’s neck for dinner Sunday because she KNEW the preacher was coming but WASN’T SURE if Aunt Ruby and Uncle Holland would come “down” from Benton as they did often.
Daddy was also “complicated” to me. He was more “laid back” than Momma, maybe because he knew she would do the worrying for both of them. Doing something the “simple” way was not in his book, as it seemed. I would have plowed up the whole field and started over rather than messing around and replanting “hills” of corn that didn’t come up! Why make anything harder than it had to be? As a deacon in the church in which I grew up, there seemed to always be “complications” about certain business matters in the church, like what day everyone would meet to clean the church grounds or if Edd would be able to serve one more year as Sunday School Superintendent, important stuff like that. Yeah, his life was complicated too.
I could say I inherited this trait of “complication” but that would be a cop-out! The fact is, I, me, myself, LET complications into my life and LET Satan rob me of years of the peace, contentment, and sheer joy that God intended for me to have at salvation and service to Him. Looking back, Momma and Daddy always seemed happy even in their “complicated” lives. We were happy kids, for the most part. It was ME, inside, that was trying to make a “simple” into a “complicated.”
I know now that God doesn’t want our lives to be complicated. He doesn’t want us to be discontent, or for things to be difficult or complex. Complexities are the work of Satan and when we discover simplicity, we wage a war with the Devil. Satan invented confusion and hates anything simple. When we discover the simplicity of God’s plan for us it brings joy and power in the christian life. Satan hates that.
Jesus had a very simple approach to “simplicity” in our walk with Him. Matthew 11:29 says (Jesus speaking), “Take my yoke upon you and LEARN of me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find ‘ease, refreshment, recreation, and blessed peace and quiet’, in your souls.” What I think He is trying to tell us is if we want confidence, peace, and rest in our feelings, thinking, and decision-making we need to take a page from His book and OBSERVE how he handled like situations, worked with people, and responded to distress when He walked on earth. All we need to do is LEARN then ask God to give us what we need to follow that example. COURAGE.
It isn’t easy for a “complicated” person like me to find the “simple” in situations. Never has been; never will be. But God made me that way. I don’t know why. I will ask when I get to Heaven or perhaps I will just “know” when I get there. It took me a very long time to realize that the plan for my life that God had laid out for me was really simple. Not for anyone else, maybe, but for ME! God had already implanted the tools within me to actually DO what he wanted me to do to carry out His plan. I didn’t realize for years that I already knew HOW to do what He asked of me. I just had to find what it was and DO IT. I floundered around for years like a fish out of water trying to find my way on my own. I tried to live up to everyone else’s expectations of me instead of focusing on God’s very simple expectations. It was a matter of “letting go” and “letting God”, so to speak.
All I had to do was use the tools that I already possessed.
I’ve learned to simplify many things, but I’m still not there. I will NEVER be THERE because God made me this way. I am striving, however, and I have made progress. Cleaning house is no longer something I plan for a week ahead of time, assemble all cleaning agents, and set a time to go to work and a time to be finished. I don’t get upset if I am interrupted. When I clean it’s when I don’t have anything better to do. There are lots of things that need my attention more; reading to my grandchildren, for instance, or going fishing with my husband. I have learned where my priorities are and in doing so have realized what God is leading me to do for Him.
Most of the time, no matter what the situation, I stop! (That was hard for awhile!) Then I ask the Lord, “What is the simplest approach to this situation? What would you do if you were me?” The Holy Spirit who lives inside a born-again saved person is my teacher and my guide. I have learned he is awesomely powerful and awesomely simple. He can show me the simplest, easiest way to deal with a situation without beating it to death and complicating my peaceful life.
If we could only just “enjoy” the life God has so richly given us!!! He loves us so much and has such a marvelous plan for each of us which is uniquely OURS that only we can accomplish—-and a job we can do EASILY. We just need to relax and seek Him then sit back and watch His plan unfold in our lives. In His own time and His own way that plan is revealed. We can then experience the peace, contentment, joy and utter SIMPLICITY of God’s love!!!!
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