Do you ever have those moments when things are going so well in your life that you wonder, “When is the crisis coming?” It used to be a “doomsday” feeling that lurked over my head in my younger years. Life experience has taught me it won’t actually be the end of the world when crisis comes my way. Yes, life is hard, but our God is good!
Contrary to popular opinion, life is not about making me happy and easing through the years. This topic of conversation has cropped up frequently this month as different generations of women in my life are able to relate. Life is about becoming more like the image of God and I have a long way to go! He gently and kindly chips away my rough edges. He allows only what I can handle through the strength He gives me.
It is during these times of crisis when emotions, stretched like a worn rubber band, force me to rely heavily on the Lord to get me through the day in one big emotionally healthy God-honoring way. One day I’ll learn to rely on Him so fully every day that it doesn’t take a crisis to get me depending so desperately upon Him!
Only last month the thought crossed my mind, “When is the next crisis coming?” Sure enough the hard times were lurking around the corner. Pausing in our dark garage with a heavy heart, I sat in the van and pondered the last ten years of my life, “Has life become easier or harder?”
Yes and yes, I decided.
Yes, life is easier because I have learned to manage my emotions better. I have learned to”let go” sooner. I have learned contentment in the simple phrase, “It is what it is”. I have learned to turn to friends and experts when we need a life jacket to help us stay afloat.
I have learned to sit still and know that God is God. Trusting fully in God’s character and His good hand in our life provides a deep source of peace. Even experiencing joy in the midst of pain!
And yes, life is harder. I am often stretched beyond my resources and beyond my experiences. When my kids are involved in the crisis, the letting go of anxiety and deep emotional investment is even more challenging. You parents know what I mean. You carry the anguish of your kids’ struggles like a thorn in your flesh. The ache in your heart isn’t going away any time soon. The challenge to give our kids over to the Lord is an ever-evolving exercise of faith.
But, it is all good. God is always good.
A favorite author of mine, J.I. Packer, adds his perspective on the goodness of God:
“…you recognize that God is the author and source of all the good that you have had already, and all the good that you hope for in the future. This is the fundamental philosophy of Christian prayer. The prayer of a Christian is not an attempt to force God’s hand, but a humble acknowledgement of helplessness and dependence. When we are on our knees, we know that it is not we who control the world; it is not in our power, therefore, to supply our needs by our own independent efforts; every good thing that we desire for ourselves and for others must be sought from God, and will come, if it comes at all, as a gift from his hands. In effect, therefore, what we do every time we pray is to confess our own impotence and God’s sovereignty.” J.I.Packer, Knowing and Doing the Will of God
In the midst of your trial friend, are you willing to submit your anxiety and pain to the goodness of God? Will you join me in the humility of prayer that does not attempt to control or force the hand of God? Let us learn together how to fully acknowledge our helplessness and dependence upon Him.