I’m about to say something that could cause some of you to begin to worry about me…to admit something that may cause many to be concerned about my mindset and heart and faith and focus.
“I’m tired of always seeking to be faithful. I’m tired of always having to trust God for every little tiny thing in life. I’m tired of continually choosing to do what I know is right.”
I know…begin to pick up your stones to throw at me. But before you throw them, consider this…
What I said and admitted is something that everyone at some point in their life has thought. Maybe for a while, maybe just briefly. But regardless of the length of time, it is a thought that I’m betting we have all had at least once.
Yet for some reason we don’t like to admit it, let alone say it out loud. Especially as followers of Christ. Because for some reason, we in the church have decided that we have to look perfect and never have any thoughts that are opposite of being positive and full of faith.
Not sure why we think that, it’s not real nor is it biblical. Scripture is full of people who weren’t always full of faith, or positive, or who always looked good.
All of the hero’s of the faith in the Bible had times in their life where they didn’t live by faith, times where they struggled to trust God, not to mention times when they made choices that didn’t look good.
Read through the Psalms some time. You’ll see the full gamut of emotions being experienced and expressed. Positive emotions full of praise and faith, as well as negative emotions full of doubt and fear. David felt all of those things, and he is called a man after God’s own heart.
Truthfully…I’m tired of being faithful and trusting and choosing to do what is right, because it doesn’t always seem to be working.
I mean, why is it that 3 years later, I still feel like I’m suffering, I’m still struggling to cover basic bills, and I’m still looking for a job/career that will adequately sustain me. I wasn’t the one who wanted this life, so why am I the one struggling through it? Why is it that I’ve sought to be faithful and to trust and to do what is right, and I’m the one who is hurting?
That is what runs through my mind when I begin to think about and dwell on all of this. That is why I say I’m tired. Because it’s exhausting.
This is what the dark times look like
Dark times are hard…no one likes to be in the midst of a dark time. When we are in a dark time, we want out immediately! And we do all we can to avoid having to go through a dark time when we aren’t in the midst of one.
Being in a dark time feels like sitting in a room with no lights on. You can’t see anything, and there is nothing happening. Time passes slowly, thoughts run all over the place, and the longing for any kind of light or movement grows steadily stronger.
No one likes to be in the dark
However, as someone extremely special to me reminded me recently, God is still working even in the dark times…I just need to remember all that he has done for me and remember that he will continue to take care of me.
This is where the beauty that comes from the darkness shows up. In the dark you can’t see anything, and nothing seems to be happening. But, the very moment any glimmer of light shines in, that light will be so visible that it quickly becomes the focal point of everything.
When any amount of light is shown in the dark, that light is bright and bold and beautiful!
As followers of Christ, it is ok to admit when we are struggling. Part of our growth and journey is the struggle. And God wants us to be honest…he allows us to be honest. Because in that honesty when we express our true feelings, we can subsequently begin to connect with God and experience his grace in a whole new way…a way that is real and honest and raw and unmasked.
Just like a glimmer of light in the darkness is beautiful, God’s grace in a moment of our truest feelings is beautiful.
It’s the contrast that makes it so beautiful. If the room was already light, a glimmer of light would go unnoticed and there would not be anything beautiful about it. The darkness makes the light shine brightly and be beautiful.
God grace is the same. When we are honest about our struggles, when we can admit the things that we don’t want to admit, then in those moments we experience just how amazing his grace really is. In those moments when we feel bad for thinking or feeling that way, we instead receive grace from God rather than judgment. How beautiful that is!
The dark times are not fun. Being totally honest isn’t always easy. But in both cases, doing so prepares us to see the beauty of what comes next. A glimmer of light…a touch of God’s grace.
The darkness doesn’t last forever. Feelings will change. And in everything, God is there and remains faithful to us.
May I always be honest about how I feel. May I continue to look to God when I’m tired, because it is his strength that will ultimately sustain me through the dark times. May I remember how he has been there for me, and continue to look for glimpses of how he is still with me now.
Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children (Deuteronomy 4:9)