life is hard. there is sadness and hurt and hard times. there are struggles and trials and seasons of pain. yes, i believe that this world is not my home. yes, i believe that God is in control of everything. yes, i believe that i can still have joy in spite of my circumstances. but that doesn't mean life isn't hard.
and what's hard for me, might not be what's hard for you. for instance, i have friends whose child(ren) don't sleep through the night. their kids are up all night and my friends are struggling with the lack of sleep that comes with that. so much so that it's hard for some of them to make it through the day. in contrast, being up all hours of the night is not hard for me. my girls are up all night, but i've always been able to run on a few hours of sleep. however, just because it's not something i struggle with doesn't make it any less of a struggle for those that do.
i've heard so many people say, "well, it could be worse...." and i've even been guilty of saying it myself. and while it's true that things could always "be worse"; when you're in the midst of a tough time, it sure doesn't feel like it could get any lower than what it already is. it's almost like we believe that if we gloss over what we're going through, and remind ourselves that someone else has it worse than we do, it might just take the edge off of what we're really feeling. when instead, we risk devaluing the struggles we're facing or the hurts that are consuming us. or, if we compare my hard time to your hard time, then maybe mine might not seem so bad. or maybe mine might seem worse. whichever scenario would make me feel "better" that particular day.
it's not always easy to find joy in any circumstance. to choose joy when sorrow feels like an easier option. it can take some serious effort to fill an aching heart with a joyful song. but that's where faith comes in. there comes a point when i have to decide if i believe God only because of what He does, or if i believe Him for who He is. it's amazing to see things take place that can only be described as the work of God. it can boost my faith and strengthen my walk. but...
if i base my faith in God solely on how i see Him working, then as far as i'm concerned, it's not authentic faith. faith is believing without seeing. so if i only believe when i see the things God can do, maybe my faith isn't as strong as i thought. life can be chaotic, crazy, and sometimes downright confusing. there are plenty of times i just don't know what the Lord is trying to tell me or trying to teach me. but does that mean i doubt Him? no. if i'm basing my faith on who He is, then i believe that He is working in my life, even if I can't SEE it.
plans fail, people disappoint us, and accidents can happen. none of us can escape heartache, sickness, or death. but thank God that this is not the end. life is hard, this is true.
but God is good. And that's enough for me.
" To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see."