Isn’t it strange how life just seems to go on forever? We know we’ll die one day, that our bodies are deteriorating, our mistakes multiplying, but as our knowledge grows, hopefully we experience more love and peace; hopefully we also grow in wisdom and maturity.
And yet, all the while, our hearts and outlook can remain unchanged in many ways: we are full of wonder and joy, we laugh and smile like children, and we run and play like vivacious teenagers.
Isn’t it funny how God places a bit of His life in clay vessels, paints them different colors, gives them different character and differing characteristics…and how we struggle to accept ourselves for who we really are? How we wrestle with God and with others, to accept them for who they truly are?
Sometimes life is so brutal and deadening, yet we must remember that God put us here to bring Him glory…but what does that mean? Does that mean He likes to show us off to the heavenly host? Does that mean He, like a heavenly papa, just delights in watching us live?
I was at a Christmas gathering recently, and got to interact with a young boy whom I’d seen at the previous holiday, nursing and crawling, cooing and crying. Now, he was walking and climbing, trusting and smiling; we had a great time hanging out for a brief moment, he and I; then he was on to a new adventure, with others watching over him, playing with him and caring for him. Isn’t that a hint of the Glory our awesome Maker gets, watching us as we try, stumble, trust, love and triumph?
When I was growing up, my family gave me the awesome gifts of love and acceptance, but I did not accept myself; nor did I accept the world as it was; nor did I understand it. Now I am older, and I no longer seek to live to be 120, or to have the things I wanted as a young man of the world, searching for meaning, love, and community. I still seek these things, true, but now, I have found their only true source: Jesus. Now I long to grow in Christ, and to be fit for eternity with Him.
Life seems to get harder as I age though; it gets even harder as His soon return draws near; difficult like the pangs of childbirth, He speaks of in his word. I struggle with fear, false-pride, loneliness, doubt, cynicism, negativity, greed, and gluttony. Relationships have become more difficult, and I see the need both for complete honesty, as well as for great discretion. I long for my dear Papa to release me from bondage to sin and restore me to His original design, so that I can be complete, righteous, holy & acceptable; pleasing to Him. So that my smile will be like a tiny beam of sunshine before His massive and awesome bright countenance!
Then, I know I will experience love in all its fulness, living as God intended, and bringing Him glory; I will be released from the chains of this world’s pain and suffering: unshackled forever.
But this is a lifelong journey, and one filled with danger and despair, as well as joy and wonder.
If your life seems impossible like mine, go back to the first principles of your faith: call to mind His love, and tenderness; recall His mercies are new every morning, even when all seems lost and you feel life is without hope, read the word, sing a song, hug a friend, or just collapse into His loving arms. He will cover you in His warm embrace. You may be hurting too much to feel it at first, but the pain will heal, the fire will cease, and you will sit by His side, restored to His peace, day by day; the ice over your heart will melt, and you’ll be free again.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll struggle with that, but rest assured, He will pick you back up again, The Lord is near, and He ALWAYS keeps His promises. He is the loving daddy with the little boy or girl, letting them struggle and fall (not too hard), so they find their particular strengths, brushing off the dirt when they hit the ground, cradling them in His arms when they cry, whispering a tender word in their ear that only they will know or understand, and setting them down gently to try again.
He is in your corner, so never stop trusting, never stop forgiving, never stop loving, never stop believing, never give up; always stay strong.