When we go through hard times our first reaction as humans is to get defensive and start questioning ourselves, the people around us and God because the situation we’re in doesn’t make sense. What did I do to deserve this? Was I not good enough? I am studying counseling and I have learned through classes as well as my own life that this is completely normal. Blaming is one of the first stages of the grieving process. The problem comes when we don’t move past the blaming and realize that there is no one to blame and it’s okay to be confused and hurt. Letting ourselves feel is okay. God never said that life would be easy…in fact He said the opposite: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Throughout scripture we hear of many people suffering just as you and I suffer. David in the Psalms, Paul in prison for proclaiming Christ, Joseph sold into slavery by his brothers and the list goes on. What do those men have that we should? Joy. Joy in our sufferings. GOD HAS OVERCOME! Of course it hurts and we cry out begging God to take it away…but He doesn’t. When He doesn’t, we ask why because we want to be comfortable. We don’t want to hurt. But…being comfortable isn’t what being a Christian is all about. It’s about being molded, shaped, and chiseled over and over again until we get to Heaven where we are finally perfect in Glory. These trials aren’t because God doesn’t love us and want the best for us. It’s because He knows that we will be better in the end because of it. He has faith in us, why don’t we have faith in Him? (I’m preaching to myself)
I have recently finished reading a book by Max Lucado called “You’ll Get Through This”. In the first chapter he talks about how the word ‘through’ is a favorite word of God’s. He gets us through the Red Sea, through the wilderness, through the valley of the shadow of death, and through the fire. I’ll admit, I have trouble praising Him in the hard times and seeing that I’ll get through something because in the moment all I can see is the dark stormy skies and not the promise that a rainbow will come out when it’s over. And that’s okay! God can handle our angry prayers. Just as long as, like I said before, we are able to continue waking up each morning getting a little closer to a healed heart if we allow Him in to heal and get us through our circumstance. It won’t be easy, it won’t be painless and it will take a long time but opening up your pain to the One who can heal is the first step on our journey. Being vulnerable hurts because our hearts are raw but healing comes…healing comes.
Below is a video I was shown in a class last year. It brings me to tears and chills but SO powerful. It’s a song called “Though You Slay Me” by one of my favorite bands Shane and Shane. Near the end there is a voice over by Pastor John Piper from a sermon he did called Do Not Lose Heart (http://www.desiringgod.org/conference-messages/do-not-lose-heart).
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Do not lose heart…God Bless