I’m exhausted of Christian cliches, and I know you are too. I’m tired of feeling the scrapes against my tired heart, and I know you are too. Well-meaning words turn to salt, and trite words reopen closed wounds. So I’m sitting next to you…as close as I can…and I’m telling you this.
You are not a failure because you’re not where you think you’re supposed to be. Your heartache is deeper than the paper-thin statements your friends have tried to use as encouragement. You don’t need to listen to the assumptions people will make for why you are suffering. You don’t even have to listen to their version of God’s perfect timing for your life.
You don’t have to perform your way into God’s good gifts. And you don’t have to feel threatened when your life is stacking up with hard things. The fact is that we don’t get life on earth sans heartache and suffering. This is a broken place and we weren’t made for here. It’s okay when your life is hard. You are not any less a child of God.
Humans come around with bags and bags of “logic”, but mostly it just feels like bags and bags of salt. Because whatever you’re facing is too big, too scary, and too confusing for slapped-on cliches. You hear the whys behind what “God must be doing”, and you get sucked dry with all the man-made solutions. You are dizzy with pain and fatigue. So while you sit in the crucible, shut your eyes to humanity and open your ears to deity.
God will satisfy you. God will make your broken heart whole with Him. God can restore anything. Grief, heartache, and pain doesn’t have to burn your hearts with anger toward God; it can engrave your heart with the deepest kind of Love which is with you in the hardest places. And oh how many there are!
God defines good, not people, not situations, not you. This life your living? It’s too big for you. It’s so much more than you can handle. God says, I am with you. And your trust in His goodness brings you full joy…twice over…more than you could have known without the suffering. That is the power and grace of God!
On earth, intimacy with God comes through both joy and suffering. Whatever it takes for these hearts of humanity to remember the saved soul, the Creator of the created. We see God as we never have before and we long for Him in the midst of joy and sorrow. We don’t have to be afraid of the ashes, because God makes them into beauty…perhaps in ways we couldn’t imagine…but there it is…beauty indescribable!
And we realize with scraped-up hearts and rested souls that God’s best for us is Himself.
And we find that God wants life for us. He gave us His Son. And God gives us Himself.
We breathe in relief, because we understand that it’s okay not to understand the life set before us. And we run after the God of life, anyway! We are absolutely sure of Him. We stop forcing ourselves to categorize earth-bound suffering as something good…and instead we just intimately know our good God. We wait with hope as He grows restoration from all of this. We victoriously sing and praise Him, because His lovingkindness is better than all of life!
If you’re feeling split open, and overwhelmed with pain, then you are standing in one of the greatest gifts this world can offer you. And that gift is a thousand reasons to fall down deep and hard into the best of all….God Himself.