Monday, November 9, 2015

Life Doesn't Always Have To Be Wonderful for Me To Always Be Happy

Have you ever felt the pressure to be a fountain overflowing with constant positive acclamations about your life?
Have you ever felt tempted to whine about everything bad that has ever happened in your life?
Let's be honest. Have you ever felt annoyed at both sets of people?
Honestly, no one wants to hear constant whining about the drudgery they call life. We have all known people who constantly tell you the deepeness of their sorrows. And honestly, it's generally those people who have a farely easy life that are thoroughly convinced of the cross they bare. But, it is also many times just as irritating to talk to someone who seems to not have any dose of reality. The vomit they wiped up that morning was full of unicorns and sunflowers. And we all just gagged again, right?
Those whom I admire don't ignore or deny every bump in the road, they admit it. They admit problems come, they admit it hurt, they admit it was uncomfortable, they admit it was the hardest thing they have ever done BUT they admit it with a look of peace on their face. Sometimes with a smile and sometimes the truth of it keeps a full toothed grin from expanding BUT the peace they have is written on every corner of their face.
They don't crawl in a hole of despair. They don't stop trusting. They don't stop living. They don't stop giving. They don't bring it up at every possible moment but they admit they lived it. They admit God was with them through every moment of discomfort. Did they doubt his presence or sovereignty, it's possible. But they continued trusting. They continued obeying. When they were annoyed they prayed for grace and held their tongue. When they were so confused that ever breathe seemed labored and ever ounce of their life seemed in doubt they looked for the positive and just obeyed.
I know that sometimes we can feel that we don't love the Lord or aren't a worthy servant if we don't think that ever struggle or inconvenience is the greatest thing we have ever encountered but it just isn't the truth. Let's think of those in the Bible. Can you think of any Bible Characters who lived like this? In a bubble of fantasy. The only one that comes to my mind is Peter. He believed no bad could happen. He believed he couldn't ever fall. And yet he fell drastically, publicly and painfully. He was thankfully restored but for a time he was unrealistic. But think with me of these people.
Paul who fought the Devil while taking the gospel to idolatrous towns. He had a thorn in the flesh. He dealt with persecution at the highest degrees. Was he a negative person? No. But did he praise those trials like they were the highlight of his ministry? No
Ruth who moved to a foreign land and was placed in a humiliating role to care for her depressed mother in law. Was she a negative person? Not in the least! Did she pretend that the loss didn't hurt, that her situation wasn't challenging? No, she with a good attitude accepted the role she was given and yes served with joy until all was made right in her life.
David was a triumphant King but one who fell to sin and faced a lifetime of hurt and reprocussions for his mistakes. Is every scripture he wrote filled with anguish? No. Was ever scripture filled with praise and rejoicing? No. He was a man that dealt with hurt and pain in a very real way. He also shows a man who daily attempted to pull himself out of that struggle and remind himself of the nearness and majesty of he Lord.
Jesus Christ was a perfect man who came to earth to live a very challenging life and die an unimaginable death for us. Was he capable of sin or mistake? NO. However, were there times in scripture where his heart broke, his anger was kindled and even in Gethsemane he asked for relief if God the Father would allow. He spent many days praising and lifting up God. But what I believe is also vitally important is that he lifted up God even,or maybe especially, in his lower moments.
I think we can learn a lot from all of these people and so many more.
1. I think we can learn that we can be stealing away the chance for God to be lifted up in our weakness and trials if we deny they exist. I think we would all agree that those who have touched our lives the most are those we have seen enter into temptation,trials and inconvenience and through it they remained faithful and content. If they never shared their trials or never admitted they were trials could we see the working hand of God through it?
2. We aren't disappointing anyone by admitting struggles. If so many of our heroes in life and in the Bible readily admit the struggles of the Christian life we are not a lesser Christian or a poor example of Christ by admitting life does have struggles.
3. Not everything is worth discussing. These great peoples stories do have stories of struggles they faced but they were moments in their life NOT their life. If every moment of your life is filled with drama, disappointment and discouragement than its probably necessary to take our eyes off ourself and count the many blessing we have and realize they far outnumber the burdens.
4. We can praise God though trials without Denying they exist. We should look for the positive! We should strive to accept hardships and come out better for it. We should see Gods hand in all that we do. We shouldn't wallow in self pity. We shouldn't be a poor testimony of Gods grace by bad mouthing everything he has sent our way. But with grace we can admit they came and that we are better for it.
Our lives can be difficult. Parenting is the biggest challenge I assume most of us will ever face. Ministry is filled with numerous ups and downs. Language learning is let's admit it, Purgatory :). Deaths come. Friends disappoint. Marriages have rough spots. Cultures present frustrations and challenges. However, daily we are loaded with mercies and grace. Daily we breathe another day to embrace life and our loved ones. Languages are learned. Loved ones are met again in Heaven. Many times friends can be reconciled and sweeter friendships will come.
I love my life. Do I love it because ever piece of moldy bread, chunky milk and embarrassing language moment is the joy of my existence? No. I love my life because it is abundant with blessings and God has never once left my side. I can love my life without it being perfect. I can love my life without loving every piece of it. I can lift up Christ by allowing my weakness to bring him glory.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9


Thanks so much for enjoying the third world journey with me. I always enjoy kind and uplifting comments!