I “played hookie” on Sunday.
Oh, I went to church. I dropped my family off and then sat in the parking lot during Sunday School. I just couldn’t bring myself to go in. My heart was in turmoil. I was upset about how the morning was going. Actually, I was upset about how life is going right now. Sometimes our burdens just grow so heavy.
Sometimes weariness wins.
I didn’t want to put on my happy face and pretend everything was fine. But neither did I want to get real and admit to my brothers and sisters how I was truly doing.
So Jesus and I, we just sat in the car together and I told Him all about it.
I told Him that I don’t understand why I feel so weak. Everyone else seems to have it together. They seem to handle stress and parenting and Christian living and everything else with ease. So I wonder, what’s wrong with me? I mean, it’s not like I’m suffering for Jesus, or facing a life-threatening disease, or something “big.” Why can’t I handle life better?
I’m ever so grateful that Jesus is compassionate and welcoming. That He listens and then gently sheds His light on things.
After spending time with Him, I realized several things. First, someone else’s struggle does not invalidate mine. Yes, Christians are being martyred. Precious young moms are fighting cancer. Families nearby have no idea where their next meal will come from. Yes, their struggle is real and huge and heartbreaking.
But just as Jesus is “there” for them in their need, so He is “here” for me in mine.
Denial is not God’s way of dealing with problems. Rationalizing that “this shouldn’t be a big deal” is not how God works. My struggle, be it “big” or “small” – it’s real and it matters to God.
The fact is, life is hard. It wasn’t meant to be this way. Conflict, disappointment, sickness, heartbreak…those were never part of His original design. And Jesus felt our pain when He walked this earth. He’s not disappointed by our frailty, our emotional ups and downs. On the contrary. He sympathizes with us and longs to draw us near (Heb 4:15).
The invitation to come boldly to His throne of grace is open to all. He doesn’t say, “Take a look around and compare your struggle with others to see if yours is big enough to bother Me with.” Nope. He just says, “Come confidently to Me in your time of need. I’ve got grace and mercy just waiting to be lavished on you” (Heb 4:16).
A second truth He reminded me of is this. God’s grace comes out in dazzling splendor against the backdrop of our weakness. He shines most brightly through a life that is completely in need of Him. (See 2 Cor 12.)
“Why am I not stronger? Why can’t I handle this?” – those questions reveal my own self confidence and self sufficiency. Boil it all down, and I’m disappointed because I thought better of myself than this.
Maybe that’s part of why God allows life to get unmanageable. So that our confidence will be in Him and not in ourselves. So that we will glory in Christ and boast in His power.
Our weaknesses and struggles, our feelings and thoughts – they matter to God. He wants to take us, frailties and all, and breathe life into our weary souls. He is really good at taking jagged, broken pieces and making a mosaic masterpiece.
Our God is not looking for strong people, but for those whose hearts are set on Him.
How has God put His power on display in your life?
“For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…” (2 Chron 16:9a). See also Ps 91:14.