I've had plenty of reality in my life. Plenty of it. And I always assumed that I don't see the world through rose colored glasses, but instead see the world for what it is and choose to be happy anyway. I've been privileged. And for all the reality I've seen, I've been sheltered.
Christianity is not about being happy, joyful, and pleasantly peaceful all the time. If I ever again seem to preach that message from here, please comment and tell me to grow up. It's just not. Life's hard. His yoke is easy, yes, sure, but life's not always easy. How to balance those two things, I don't know. But here's the thing... you don't always have to know.
Yesterday I held my new baby down while a doctor physically hurt her in the worst way imaginable. And this child grabbed my hand.
There was a lesson in that.
So often life hurts us and instead of grabbing onto that hand and crying and hoping He'll bear us through the pain, we just fight against the pain. If I had allowed this child to fight against the pain yesterday it would have hurt a lot worse and taken a lot longer. One of us had to be strong. And in the midst of it, there was nothing to be done except be there. Be there and constantly remind her that it's almost over. It'll be done soon and then it won't hurt anymore.
How much more does God do that for us? We'll still go through the painful moments. Losing a loved one, losing a child, scary hospital moments when you're not sure if those loved ones will make it through surgery. Or the other painful moments of watching your children suffer through emotional crisis' of their own. Car accidents, financial strains, physical surprising disasters like the one in Minnesota yesterday. So much takes us by surprise and simply rips a chunk out of our guts.
Welcome to humanity.
You're a Christian, but you're still human. Things will still hurt. The only difference is are you going to fight against the hurts in your life or are you going to grab onto that hand and pray He's able to bear you through the pain?
Christianity, walking with Christ, found a deeper meaning for me yesterday as I found myself singing "Trust and obey". Trust is pointless unless it's proved. "I trust you...but" doesn't really sing true. Trust and obey. Obedience is easy when it's something you think is easy. Jumping out of a plane strapped to your tandem skydiving instructor requires trust. Trust has you walking in the dark sometimes, closing your eyes and letting someone put something in your hand, falling back and trusting someone to catch you. Trust is best shown when everything seems to point to the red and God tells you to go to the blue.
Singing last night, "Trust and Obey" was more about sober acceptance than hope. It's the simple knowledge that turning away and following my own deceptively easier path, would only lead to heartache. No other path will bring me the ultimate joy that following this one will bring. It doesn't matter what today looks like. He didn't tell me there wouldn't be sorrow. He said He'd bear them. He didn't say I wouldn't cry. He said He bottled my tears. My tears are precious to Him.
It's about being a 'through it all' Christian. Rather than a high road Christian that simply gripes and moans bitterly at God that He's allowed pain into their lives, until the day the pain ends, and then they go back to loving God. It's about the love and trust that comes with grabbing the hand of someone holding you while you're being hurt even if you're entirely convinced they could end the pain at any time. And I learned it from a 2 yr old.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:4