Some days you just have to put your head down, shoulder to the wheel, and power through. Other days, the air seems light, the sun shines bright, and joy seems never-ending. The dream for most of us, I’m guessing, is for the light, bright, joyful days to be every day! But the reality, more often than not, is lots of shoulder-to-the-wheel days mixed with a merciful smattering of bright days to balance things out.
But what about when the overall arc of your life appears to be overwhelmed with difficulties and the joys seem easily overshadowed by life’s cruelties? I was talking with a close friend recently about this very subject. My friend has been struggling with maintaining faith. This friend feels forsaken, abandoned, wronged by God. And is struggling with feeling anger at God and, by default, guilt for being angry.
I feel a deep sorrow and empathy for my friend. I understand. I understand the struggle of wrestling with anger at God. I know the tax of grasping to maintain faith when it seems that life has been unjustly harsh and trials unequally plentiful. I have walked the dark and seemingly endless roads of depression and anxiety. It hurts. All of it hurts so deeply. How easy it would be to let go of the struggle to maintain faith and embrace the nihilistic ideas of modern culture. Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow, we die. Isn’t that how the saying goes? Why cling to faith and devotion to deity when you seem to have been all but abandoned?
I cling because I know one simple truth. A truth that is chiseled into the very fibers of my body. God, our Father in Heaven, loves His children.
I don’t know why some of us seem to be measured out more struggle and trials than others. I don’t know why life seems so cruel and unfair to some while appearing to rain floodwaters of blessings on others. I don’t know lots of things and I know that I very often don’t understand His ways. But, I do know that He loves us.
I know that our struggles will be, ultimately, for our good. I know that if things don’t make sense and seem out of proportion, they will make sense in time. Much of it won’t make sense until after this earth life has lapsed.
God does love us, even if we can’t immediately see the evidence of His love. I know we are growing. I know the trials are not without blessings. The blessings are IN the trials. It often takes time and practice to see those artfully woven blessings, but they are there. Father in Heaven purposefully places them in our paths so that when we are struggling to cling to even a whisper of faith, we will be able to see and feel the familiar signature of His love.
Yes, life is littered with hardships, sometimes overwhelmingly so. But life is also bright, airy, and joyful. The trick is letting ourselves learn to fine-tune our vision so that we can recognize the unpolished gems of God’s love amidst the din of daily life. Because the blessings are always there, I can promise you that.