Sunday, August 1, 2010

Life is Hard

You know those days when everything is going along just swell and all the sudden something throws everything askew? There is a song, I know neither the title nor the artist, but it has a line that says "we are all just one phone call from our knees". Almost exactly two years ago I received one of those calls: my mother calling to tell me my brother had died. His death was very unexpected and excruciatingly painful for our entire family.

For me, it was as if a door of hope slammed in my face. You see, I had prayed for my brother for years and years. I prayed for his recovery from his addictions. I prayed for his salvation. I prayed that someone somewhere would get through to him and save him from himself, but it didn't happen.

Does that mean that God didn't listen? I don't think so. He heard every prayer and saw every tear that fell - not just mine, but the tears of everyone who loved my brother. I believe that God was just as broken hearted as we were at this loss.

I had some serious words with God that night and for several days and nights following. I must have walked 20 miles pacing up and down my driveway having very animated conversations with Him. When it was all over I felt, not necessarily better, but cleansed, restored and quieted. I came away from these conversations with three gifts. One, it is not for me to know or even guess the condition of my brother's heart or his relationship with God. That is between the two of them. Two, just because the end wasn't how I would have liked, that does not mean my prayers were not answered. We lived 2,000 miles apart, there is no way I could witness those prayers at work.  Three, I am not privy to all the answers, no one is. That is why God is who He is and we are who we are. In the place of a multitude of unanswered questions I was given peace. Peace to accept the things I have no control over.

Life isn't always what we expect. Marriages fail, loved ones die, jobs are lost, catastrophic weather strikes - any number of mind-numbing changes can happen in the blink of an eye. The one thing that is constant and true in this very scary world: God.  I find great comfort in knowing that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

God didn't promise us a walk in the park, in fact, Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." . On those days where being earth-bound is so wearying I just want to holler "Come, Lord Jesus! I am ready for heaven! Can we be done here?" So far the answer to that query has been "No", but I keep trying! : )

Life is hard, but God is so incredibly faithful. Run to Him when times are tough. In the book of Matthew, Jesus says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Rest in Him and he will fill you up with His peace and fortify you in your daily life.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for all you do for me. Thank you for granting me peace in difficult times when I am struggling and need it so badly. Please grant that same peace to others who seek it through You. Thank you for being a safe place to shelter in the storms of life. Life is hard. You want us to be joy-filled, but sometimes the weight of this world is so heavy. Help me to throw off the world weariness and put on the full armor of God so I can live a joy-filled life with You. In the precious, sweet name of Jesus. Amen.

In His Peace -

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