I was talking today to my coworker about how hard life is. How IMPOSSIBLE it is to do without God.
Even with God, life is hard. Just look at society. People turn to so much else to get them through life, to help them find joy- food, sex, relationships, alcohol, work, television, gambling, etc. But those things don’t lead to joy. They don’t actually make life easier at all; they only further complicate it.
And yet, life is designed to be hard. Not always, but at least often enough that we know we cannot do it without Him. Every time we find ourselves trapped and desperate or reaching for something that is ultimately not life-giving, it’s a call to run to God. He will meet our needs. He, alone, can meet our needs.
If I didn’t know God, if I didn’t know that He keeps His promises and that the Bible is His love letter to us, our sword to get through this life, I don’t think I could do it. At least, I couldn’t do it well. I would be turning to all of the above things in search of something to make life less hard, something to make it less overwhelming.
But I know that all I need is Jesus. And, because I am just as susceptible as the next person to try to find life in something other than Him, I pray daily to maintain a clear perspective. A hunger for the only One who can satisfy. I don’t always remember that in the moment, in a moment of despair or panic, but every time I turn to something that isn’t Him, I quickly find myself back at His feet or in His lap or begging for Him to bend down and kiss my forehead and hold tight to my hand. He alone can satisfy.
He is our joy. Our hope. Our fulfillment.
Let’s not be confused, thinking we are here to be employees or siblings or daughters or sons or parents. We are not here to get a nicer car or bigger house or out of debt. We are not here to achieve or be recognized or to gain respect. We are here to love. We are here to be HIS children, to do HIS work.
I have been so tired lately. My eyelids are heavy, my body is heavy, and my brain is sluggish. However, as with anything difficult that life throws at me, I have come to realize that my tiredness is a call to seek God. When illness or lack of sleep aren’t the culprit, tiredness, I’ve learned, is often a sign that I’ve been trying to do life on my own strength. Even though I try to go through my day with God, hearing His voice, and praying for His strength, something has been amiss the last few days. I’m not trusting Him as much as I should. I’ve been turning to things that aren’t Him, hoping they will give me reprieve or answers or rest.
They won’t, though.
There are so many hurting people. And sometimes people are hurting because life is HARD, but sometimes they unintentionally exacerbate their own suffering by trying to save themselves or failing to seek their Creator. It breaks my heart.
And THAT is why we’re here. THAT makes my tomorrow and the day after it feel less routine and mundane and more exciting. That gives me energy and joy. God has a plan for my today. He has a plan for my tomorrow. Nothing is routine. Everything that God is a part of comes to life. Including me.
Tomorrow can feel so overwhelming. When I contemplate my to-do list, when I try to anticipate moments of my day that will be better than staying in bed all day with my cats, I feel a little bit hopeless. But I don’t actually know what tomorrow brings. And I cannot expect to have strength for tomorrow while it is still today. Whatever tomorrow brings, rather I plow through my to-do list or have things unexpectedly added to it, God will be there. Holding my hand. Kissing my forehead. Giving me strength. Tomorrow is in His hands. And so am I. And right now, Lord, I give tomorrow to You. I give all of my tomorrows to You. I will not lay awake and try to sort my life out or live days that haven’t come yet. We have done today together, and we have done it well. And now all You are asking of me is that I rest.
Thank You, Jesus, that You give us rest.
Thank You that we aren’t just here to be warriors for Your Kingdom, although that is certainly our highest calling, but that we are also here to laugh and delight in this life You have given us. We are here to fall deeper in love with You. We are here to work, we are here to play, and we are here to rest. You designed it that way because You love us. You triumph when we are victorious and you laugh when we’re laughing. You aren’t just up in heaven, distant, dictating our lives- you are here, present, Emmanuel, doing life with us. When life is hard for me, You feel it. When I am full of joy and gratitude, You feel that too. We’re not doing this life alone. You love us SO much, Abba. Thank You that You love us.
As I seek You, Lord, life gains depth and purpose and meaning. Each day feels significant. The more I spend time with You, the less I feel like I am lacking. And the less I feel like I am lacking, the easier it is to give to the people you bring into my life. It’s that simple, and it’s that hard. You are the key to everything.
I am not lacking, Lord; I know that. I am complete and whole and beloved and being made perfect in You. I am not alone. I am not unseen. You are aware of my needs and You promise to meet them. I am fully loved, fully taken care of, and deeply cherished. Help me, help us, not forget that, Lord. We are significant. We are beloved. More of You, Abba. More of You. Help us to love You even more, Lord. Fill us afresh with a zest for life.