Everything is not okay…and even so, I think I’ll be okay

What do you do when everything is not okay? How do you live life when it is no longer possible to pretend that’s your life is all right, that you know how to deal with the horrors you’re going through?

This might surprise you, but I don’t think we do anything in the common understanding of the word. Instead, we sit and watch. We ask God for a greater vision of what He’s doing and we trust Him to bring to pass what He reveals to us.

We use the time in front of us in a way that says “I’m letting God do what He’s doing with me. I’m not going to get in His way–though I’m surely going to be running His way a lot!” We recognize that we’re not going to come through this without His comfort. We believe that because He will give us His comfort, our entire test will become a blessing.

We don’t do this because we want to impress God. Neither do we do this because we hope our sheer willpower can make us more righteousness while we fight. We do this for such a higher reason: We do it so that we may not forfeit an opportunity to treasure the presence of God in moments He wants to redeem. We treat days and years and seasons of pain and pressure like missives written in code. We consider ourselves loaded down with grace not because we see so much good but because we know God does.

He knows where we are, and He may not move us, but He won’t let us mistake that He is right in our midst. Trials teach us to welcome Him in with greater abandon. The teach us that He defines our hope and that no one or no thing can cripple Him though they try to cripple us. We are safe in His arms. What ever wants access to us, to destroy us, must go through Him first.

Trials also bring out the sin in us; they impress us with the magnitude of what Christ did for us at the cross. They remind us that our greatest enemy has been vanquished. They encourage us that we are not beholden to our former orientations–we have been raised to live for Christ.

There is nothing to obsess over. There is only to walk the path He made ready. There is really nothing for us to settle, nothing for us to make right. God has done all that. He simply invites us to enjoy it, to come into the kingdom He has set up. After all, God allows trials in our lives because He wants to get us acquainted with what He can do, what He has done; He knows how handicapped we are when all we know is what we can do.

 

I am the worst thing to hit relationships since…(well, you get the idea!)

My plans for making relationships work don’t always work. Worse than that, sometimes I have the painful realization that I am the problem; I am the reason things don’t go as smoothly as I’d like. I somehow just don’t “gel” with other people as well as I’d like.

(Surprise!)

Do you ever have that problem–people and their problems turn out to be not your only problem?

(Yeah, it’s really a shame isn’t it? I mean, what a self-esteem reducer, right?)

It not only stinks to discover this about yourself, it is disconcerting that others see it too– and probably much clearer than you! The first thought that usually comes to mind after this revelation is: Why don’t I just quit relationships altogether? If I’m no good at them, I’m obviously not cut out for them. Right?

Wrong. You are designed for them, but since your design has been made backwards and crooked by sin, you are going to need a lot of adjustment before you work well in relationships. But, this is no cause for being discouraged. You have hope because God is rescuing your design as we speak!

It is impossible for God not to restore people who come, broken, to the cross. The matter is only waiting for your cry for help. No, not a call for back-up as you attack the problem yourself. Nor a solicitation of support that will keep in motion your preconceived notions about life. Instead, this is none other than a desperate willingness to change directions. It is choosing to look from us to Him and to receive all that He gives as grace.

Then, relationships aren’t so hard because you neither have to be perfect to hold them together or pretend you’re perfect to keep from admitting you’re not. The matter is settled: If this is going to work out, if we’re going to be any benefit to others at all, it’s definitely going to grace.

There’s no other explanation for how people can find it possible to be united with one another. You have that as a possibility, so do I, but we have to welcome in the One who makes Possible at home in us.