The struggle is real.
I’m struggling today. My mom called me late last night, as I was on my way to a monthly dance, and informed me that one of our family friends suffered a stroke and is in the hospital in ICU with bleeding in the brain.
When my mom gave me the news, I felt like I’d been sucker-punched in the gut. It knocked the air out of me. I found myself gasping for breath and coughing as I cried in the parking lot outside of the dance studio. Struggle.
My mom told me that the best case scenario is that he will have a long and difficult recovery. The worst case will be that he doesn’t make it. Struggle.
Today, we both spent the day holding our breath and praying, waiting for news. He made it through the day, so I am thankful.
But I’m more than just thankful. I’m also scared. Sad. Devastated even at the condition he is suffering now and will continue to suffer if he recovers. But I found myself experiencing an even wider mix of emotions, as well. As I contemplated the possibility that he might be going home to Jesus soon, I found myself feeling joyful for him and even jealous. If he gets to go home and stand in the presence of God, I will be so so jealous!
Is that normal to feel that way? It seems like it would be such a relief to just not do it anymore—this life, I mean. It’s so damn hard just to make ends meet, to navigate relationships, to find fulfillment in the everyday drudgery of dishes and commuting in traffic. It’s hard to be patient with people who invade your space—whether it’s children or adults. It’s hard to set boundaries with people. It’s hard not to feel like you’re going insane when your hormones are swinging like a pendulum for 3 days out of the month. Dealing with the unexpected like transmissions dying, roommates who won’t pay rent, the garage flooding, your employer going out of business, another miscarriage, disease, death—all of it is just too much. Struggle.
In the past, I’ve asked, why does God give us so much suffering? But this was the wrong way to look at it. God doesn’t give us suffering. All of these ills that befall us are the result, the culmination of years and years of sin compounded on one another—the result of us living in world where each individual has the freedom of choice, and when first one person, and then many people choose things that destroy and hurt and defile; this all adds up.
It cascades into what can feel like a torrent of pain and anguish. In families, the sins of one generation can have an affect even unto the lives of their great-grandchildren and beyond.
God doesn’t wish us anguish. He wishes us the complete joy and utter ecstasy that is being One with Him. It is the collective choice of humanity to choose anything other than God that separates us from God.
So to come back to what I was saying before…life is so damn hard. Every day we are faced with choices, disease and both physical and spiritual death. And I don’t know about you, but every day I try to do my best, yet I often fail. I often make decisions that hurt others. I’m often selfish and self-serving. Struggle.
I’m not suicidal…but whenever life is hard and I get thrown another curve-ball or a sucker punch to the gut, I just wish life could be over. That the hard part could be over and I could be reconciled with my Savior. I want it to be done. It is finished right? Can it please be finished?
But that is not what God has called us to do. It’s cheating to just cop out like that. We are called to be the representatives of Christ in a dark world, to reflect His image and bring Him glory.
Easier said than done. I guess the only place He leaves us is in a place where we can’t do it alone. Which is where I am today.
Today, I am struggling. But God is with me, as He he is with all of those who ask Him to be there.
So today I pray for our family friend, and that whether he lives or goes home to meet Jesus, that we might all see God in this situation and be comforted in the struggle.
And for myself, I pray for His blessing. I pray that He would grow me in spirit and character and endurance. I pray that He will give me strength to face tomorrow. And I pray that He would protect me and preserve me. Amen.