Friends, our lives are not easy. We struggle in different ways. The burdens you carry are not the same as mine, but no less heavy or troublesome. As I get older, I've come to realize that a person may have money, but combat self-doubt or the need to be accepted. Someone may have more laughter than you, but could open a pharmacy with all the medicines they take for their declining health. They may have a close marriage, but ache for children. They might be successful at business but battle depression. They might have a group of close-knit friends, but their relationship with their spouse is unraveling. We look through the windows of others and see only one pane of their reality.
We fight for justice and yet tolerate the injustice of ignoring our heart. We martyr ourself to take care of others but allow cruel thoughts to make us feel insignificant. We get in the way of ourselves and each other. We give to others but we are unkind to ourselves. We feel like we're the ones who have to be responsible, then judge others for being happy. How dare they? We worry about all those important things that aren't so important when something snags our attention. It's all a sliding scale. Instead of what's important, it becomes what's important right now? Life in itself becomes unimportant until hanging onto that life is all that you have.
Are you like me and have a tinge of guilt when you give selfish thoughts about your crappy life one more second of your time? When you say "life's not easy" aloud do you move your chin to your shoulder and justify - "Well, it's not Syria, but life can suck so bad, right?"
We know our survival won't depend on crumbs of food for the next three weeks. We know we won't need to hide underneath war-torn shelters for protection. And we won't have to smuggle our children over borders with nothing other than the threads they're wearing and prayers that someone across the way will take care of them.
But here we are, all of us in different phases of our lives troubled by first world problems. Everywhere around us, there are loved ones hunched over with burden. People who had at one time had it all but they'd trade it away for the one thing they need right now. When your friends cancer diagnosis gets in the way of that important deadline at work. When then things in your life happen to make you appreciate the life you've been given.
When you're broken into fragments, pieces of your life seem like it's held together with Band-Aids or epoxy glue but that's when the light can get in. That's when you can ask for help. That's when the friend shows up. That's when a break through happens. When new life is breathed into yours. That's when the blessings can come to you and cover you like a soaking rain after a summertime three week dry spell. That's when you can feel the tightness in your chest ease, when the salty sad tears dry up and the grateful, joyful tears take over. Light can still get in those broken windows and sometimes the breeze can be refreshing.
Seeds to Share:
Ephesians 5:8 - For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
Isaiah 60:1 - Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.