When Jack complains that something is “hard” he has three older siblings who are quick to tell him what we’ve been telling them for years: “Life’s not supposed to be easy.” He’s beginning to lean in towards the hard to do things and realizing bit by bit he can get through it. It won’t be long before he pounces on Kira to give her the same scrap of truth.
We are all struggling through something. As we walk through the grocery store we can assume every human present is going through some kind of hard time on a spectrum between annoying to unbearable. I can raise my hand high and say I’m struggling with back issues requiring trips to the physical therapist and daily exercises that score on the annoying end of the scale. I’m getting through it.
Driving down the busy road full of so many people trying to get somewhere we have to know inside each vehicle there isn’t one perfect person. We have problems. We fall short. We make mistakes. We are flawed. If I offer a confession I’ll say frustrations make me irritable and sharp when I should take a breath and work towards an acceptable solution without biting whoever’s closest to me. (sorry Jack, it’s usually you since you home school.)
So if we are all struggling and we’re not perfect why do we publicize perfect lives? Why do we hide our struggles? Being vulnerable is scary. But the bible is full of flawed, broken people:
Jacob was a cheater. Peter had a temper. David had an affair. Noah got drunk. Jonah ran from God. Paul was a murderer. Gideon was insecure. Miriam was a gossip. Martha was a worrier. Thomas was a doubter. Sara was impatient. Elijah was moody. Moses stuttered. Zaccheus was short. Abraham was old. Lazarus was dead.
Any cause worth doing is worth struggling for so the help can reach those with need. There are storms and we must choose how to get through them. In John 16:23 it says “in this world YOU WILL have trouble.” And these troubles usually arise out of the mundane parts of life. And then the problems expose our faith. If I pay close attention I will get to see God be God in my life. So, actually, the problems do bring me closer to God. I need that.
No matter how troubled or flawed we humans are the good news is that God can still use us for his purposes. “My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
So I’m going to focus more on forgiveness and the gift of God’s grace and think a whole lot less about doing everything perfectly. I am. Really. With that said, it’s 5:30pm, I could work several more hours to reduce my extensive list of things to do, but I’m going to call it a day, make a home made meal, sit with my family and laugh at the dinner table for a couple hours. I hope you make peace with troubles and flaws and step into the joy that is possible amidst life’s storms. (So if I don’t answer your email tonight you’ll know why!)