When Life is Hard.
There are days when life is great and nothing could be better. On other days, waiting for Heaven seems to be taking forever. The good days make us forget that we’re longing (or should be longing) for Heaven. But those sad, weary, dreary, woeful days are what makes me long for Heaven, which seems so far away. Have you been there?
When life is hard, we suffer because of the injustices of others, the deceit of friends, the betrayal of family, and the loneliness from loss. We experience deep grief and unbearable sorrow – and wonder if we’ll ever be whole again. Earth is too real and too difficult – and there are not enough tears left to cry all the pain away.
What is a person to do when she’s wept the night through and hidden tears the day long? What’s a person to do when she needs to find answers for little ones, but the truth is too cruel to share? When relationships are marred and will never (except for a miracle) be the same again, let alone even be restored, what happens then? What is a person to do? Living on earth is too real, and Heaven is too far away.
Getting through the hard
When life is difficult and hard, we need to acknowledge that life is not fair, and that’s what Heaven is for. There’s no other way to get there but to live through it here. Needing to live through our pain and heartache is what makes life so difficult, so hard.
So we wait for Heaven – where all things are made right and fair. We wait for Heaven – where every tear will be wiped away and every heartache will be explained. Heaven waits for us, where what we experienced on earth won’t matter anymore.
While we wait for Heaven, we suffer here. Life is not a paradise. We are all broken, needing to become whole.
So what do we do when life is hard, is unfair, and too difficult to bear? How do we walk through the fire here when it would be easier to escape this ole earth and find rest on Heaven’s shore?
Heading toward Heaven
I’ll tell you what we should do. For starters, we need to reckon with the pain and the unfairness of what has happened. Sometimes chaos happens because of our choices. Other times, we suffer because of the choices of others. Reckon with the pain and the cause, but don’t stay there. Put the “if onlys” behind you and move forward with a focus.
We can choose to focus on the storm or we can focus on the Savior in the storm. It makes all the difference. This focus won’t change the bills that are due, the ache that never goes away, or the uncertainty of what to do tomorrow, but it will change the way we approach today.
We can choose to wallow in fear, pain, and anger. Or, we can reckon with the fact that God knows all our tomorrows. He is capable of healing us today and tomorrow and the next day.
We can focus on what we have lost and on what we’d like to change, but can’t. OR we can focus on what we have in God. We can have a pity party, or we can party in the power of God.
We can look for ways God answers, and we can expect Him to answer our call. Do we bring an umbrella when we pray for rain? When we ask for wisdom, do we listen for His answers?
This we must remember: when Heaven seems too far away, we are, for this time, living here. Find truth in the Words of God, find strength in His care, then watch and wait for Him to show up.
Track His goodness by keeping a prayer log – your requests and His answers. You will be amazed. Begin a Gratefulness Log, and track the good things He gives you every day. They’re there; you just need to find them. Look for the goodness in the land of the living instead of the corridors of regret, and you will be blessed.
When life is hard, the first thing we want to do is change things – which sometimes are unchangeable. We whine “If only” to God and to others instead of accepting what is. We look for ways to change things and people that are not ours to change. The only thing we can change is our hearts.
It’s not fun; it’s not easy, and it can be extremely difficult. Changing our hearts also takes time.
When I’m in the doldrums about my world, I know what I need to do: change my focus from myself to my God. Thank Him for what He has done. Praise Him – over and over and over – for what He is going to do. Purpose to cooperate with Him in the aftermath of the storm – then follow through.
Focus on Who God is and focus on your relationship with Him. Instead of focusing on your pain and your enemy, focus on Him. It will change your world.