Much like this beautiful earth we live on, we each go through seasons in our lives. This summer for me has been a season of highs and lows. I’ve been reminded of God’s grace with blessings, and I’ve struggled to see his plan through pain and sorrow.
First let me say, the human body, while miraculous, doesn’t always heal as quickly as we might wish it would. It’s been a struggle for me at times to bang up against the limitations of what I still can and can’t do. And there have been days this season when the only thing I have to offer to God is anger. I’ve had days that I’ve spent in bed, wrapped up in feeling sorry for myself, listing off all the perceived hardships I’ve had to deal with in my entire life, questioning how there can possibly be a God in heaven who cares about me. Maybe you’ve been there too. Those are the days we are most tempted to turn away from God, to blame him rather than to thank him. I know because I’ve done that.
But here’s the thing. In those moments, I was no different than a toddler having a temper-tantrum because they didn’t get a toy that they wanted, or a hormone-fueled teenager telling their parents that they hate them because they can’t go to a party. As parents it is our responsibility to tell our children “NO”. We aren’t trying to be mean, we are doing it because we love and care for them. Because we want the very best life for them. God wants that for us too. And even in those moments when I gave in fully, either to anger or despondency, there was a place in my heart that knew the truth. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul quotes Jesus as saying “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I can honestly say that I have never felt more weak and vulnerable in my life than I have these past few months. And like a child, I don’t always understand the reasons why my Father puts me on the paths he does, but if I can’t trust that He is doing it because He loves me and wants the best life for me…then I have nothing. And when my anger or despondency has passed, because it always does…I am again reminded of all of the blessings in my life, and how much God loves me.
It’s okay to give God your feelings, ALL of your feelings, even your doubt and anger. Because even in yelling at God you are demonstrating faith. Those he loved most, walked some of the hardest roads imaginable…but their reward was a full and complete awareness of his love and grace. And having even a small awareness of the overwhelming love and grace of Jesus and my heavenly Father means that a few hardships aren’t too much to live through if it means that in the end I’m closer to HIM. And thankfully God is patient, so he will walk patiently beside me. even if I complain loudly every step of the way. His love never fails. I hope that someday, in this journey of life, I am at a place that I can thank God for my trials and tribulations while I am in the midst of them. But, either way He’s going to take that journey with me, and I’m pretty sure He’s willing to accept whatever it is I can offer at that moment. And I KNOW I can’t make it without him.
It’s human to focus on the hardships and forget about the blessings. But as much as I have felt weak and vulnerable in this particular season of my life, I have also felt loved and blessed and cared for. When I look at the sum of my life, there is so much love and goodness there that God has blessed me with. I hope and pray that if you are walking through a valley right now that God gives you the strength to look back at the mountain tops you’ve already been on and to look forward to the ones yet to come. Even if all you have to offer God is a mountain of anger…believe me when I tell you, his grace is enough to get you to the top.