Sometimes it seems like God collects a number of different ways to say the same thing to me. Or maybe it is His patience with how I’m not listening. Or maybe God knows how prone I am to forgetting what I just learned so He continues a theme of reminders over and over again. Whatever it is, however He works, I am in awe.
This past month the passage in John 16 stood out to me like a bright spot light! Jesus tells His disciples, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
It wasn’t a pep talk, I mean it was, but it was also a wiping the window clean, rubbing the eyes, putting on glasses kind of a perspective.
See? (my paraphrase) See? you will CONTINUE to experience difficulties, don’t be surprised or pretend it’s easy. It’s difficult. It will continue to be difficult.
I randomly chose the above movie on Netflix the other day just as a light, fun movie to watch in the evening. (Spoiler alert) Alexander, after having everything go wrong for him was frustrated that his Dad was a super optimist and Mom always put on a brave smile. This bugged him. So on his birthday he wished that his whole family could experience a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And they did. And near the end of the movie, Alexander speaks to his family about how some days are just bad, and it’s okay to say that they are. The Dad admitted his burden that he feels he needs to make everything better for everyone. Alexander kicks a garbage can and says that some days are just bad. So they all kicked garbage cans together as a family. Good ending.
This morning I read this in a book by Dan Allender, The Healing Path: “Still many will say, But we have the Holy Spirit and he empowers us”. Indeed we do. But we have the Spirit to open our eyes, free our senses, and enable us to suffer as Christ. To suffer is to embrace our situation without flight, fantasy or control. The Spirit empower us to embrace and revolutionize our powerlessness.”
Lord, as we each face the situations in front of us, may your Holy Spirit open our eyes, free our senses, enable us to suffer as Christ did! Help us to not sugar-coat the realities of our lives. If they are difficult, give us strength to admit that to ourselves, to you, and to others. Give us courage to ask for help. Humble us to take the necessary steps to do what is in our control to do and trust everything to you. May our suffering free us from the things we cling to that we believe will make us happy. Revolutionize our powerlessness for Your glory. Amen.