I am reminded this week of one thing in particular: life is not easy.
Now, that sounds like a big “duh”. After all, besides that fact that we live in a fallen world, if you’re a follower of Christ, He promises that we won’t have it easy. If you’re anything like me, you kind of gloss over that particular premise most of the time. Life hands you way too much sometimes – who needs to be reminded that we’ll have a hard time of it?
One of the young ladies who used to attend our youth group a few years back was killed in a car crash this week. A dear friend is really struggling with depression right now. Another old friend lost his beloved grandfather last week. It seems like everywhere I turn, there is tragedy great and small. I think of others who live with the ghosts of the past, the hurts of actions years gone, the pain of grief or guilt that nothing can relieve.
On the one hand, because I’m a fixer (and probably because I’m a mom), I want to be there and help every single one of these problems. I want to be personally involved in solving the wars of the mind and soul and body that plague everyone I know. But I can’t do much more than pray for most of them. And yes, I know that praying is a very big deal, and can work wonders and miracles (and frequently does).
I often joke that growing old isn’t for wimps. I’m not “old” yet (except to my kids), so I know I don’t know the half of it. But it does feel like the older I get, the more I am aware of the heartache around me. And while I’d like to fix it all, or better yet, wave a magic wand and make it disappear, I know that God is using these things. For me, He’s keeping me in tune with His whispers to care for others by intervening on their behalf to Him. For them, I know that while the circumstances are difficult, He is working to bring them closer to Him – even when it seems He is clouded by the events themselves.
No, God doesn’t promise that life will be easy. Which is why we have to help hold each other up in the midst of the chaos that life brings. I’ve often seen firsthand how we reciprocate for each other – I may be the strong one right now, but in a week, a month, an hour, I may need the help of someone else who has the strength to point me back to God’s strength and goodness.
We have all been in the place that we need someone to show us again that God is great, and God is still there. For Him, it is easy. His burden is light. He invites us to share that easy burden – and give the hard one to Him. Because He is the only one who can truly take it. I hope that in the days to come, I can remember that, whether holding someone else up to Him, or marching through those times myself.