March 10, 2010

Life is hard for everyone

You know those days when you feel like you are dealing with some big, huge, awful thing?  And then you read something, or talk to someone, or see something on the news that makes you suddenly realize that what you are facing maybe ISN'T so big, huge, and awful?
I've had a lot of those days in the past year or so.  I mean... a lot.  God continually reminds me that even in the face of whatever it is I'm dealing with at the moment - He is with me, and someone else is dealing with something worse.
Now, all that being said... when you are facing something that for YOU is a big, huge and awful thing.  God cares.  It really is big - for you.  It is huge - for you.  It is awful - for you.  But really... in the scope of eternity, it isn't about you.  God will carry you through the darkness if you lean on Him. 
A friend of mine once wrote a devotional study on Psalm 23 - that famous one everyone (or almost everyone) knows by heart.  She wrote one line that stuck with me. "When you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death; keep walking and don't stop to pitch a tent."
We are not supposed to wallow in our big, awful and huge situations.  We are supposed to keep walking along the path that God has marked out for us, even when we only have the light for just the most immediate next step.  God sometimes lights the way with small lights instead of big floodlights.  Though I will admit, in my human frailties, I'm afraid of the dark and crave sunshine and bright lights.  I even have a nightlight in the bathroom at home. :-)  I'm learning to walk in His light, that is sufficient if not always comfortable for me.
Part of my point is that I've realized (albeit slowly), when I try to look outside of myself and my immediate circumstances or issues, things seem to be a bit better, a bit brighter, a bit lighter.  Maybe because I can leave whatever my load is at Jesus' feet and move on to attempt to lighten somebody else's load.
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
And he says in John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
 In Psalm 71:19-20 David writes:
  Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things.
       Who, O God, is like you?
  Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.

Today I am dealing with some issues in my life.  But I know God is in control.  Nothing surprises Him and He has a plan for everything in my life - even when I can't possibly see how it will play out.  It is really hard, but I have to pray on it all and leave it with Him.  He will carry me through if I let Him.  I have to trust Him. 
And realistically, what choice do I have?  I can't change anything by worrying or fretting.  Jesus said in Luke 12: 25-26  "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"  He is right, of course.