“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16: 33
They may not say anything, they may not show it – you may never know from looking on the outside that on the inside there is something that is breaking them. Everyone has their private battles…
We walk by them in the grocery store
They are teaching our kids
They are our spouses
They are family
They are the people on Facebook that you can’t see physically
They are posting a thousand photos on instagram that look like ‘all is well’
They are you and they …are me.
In the past two weeks I have brushed elbows with some people that I know fairly well…and yet didn’t know as well as I thought.
One, a friend I have known for 10 plus years and while we don’t physically see one another we connect through Facebook, social media etc. I have come to find out that she is fighting daily with an excruciating hopelessly unfixable pain – on the other side of the keyboard her strokes are happy faces, scripture to encourage others, witty humor. Nothing that would transcribe to the reader that she is melting inside, exhausted, overwhelmed, in physical pain and at times reaching the very last strand of her tattered rope.
The other, a woman I see every morning guiding my kids to their classroom with a smile on her face; dying with stage 4 terminal cancer – she answers questions with a smile, helpfully and lovingly tends to the needs of my kids and countless others, outwardly she is poised, has it all together as her body quietly betrays her and she knows that the clock for her is ticking..
Neither one talks about it…but it’s there.
Neither one shows it, they both smile, but inside there is a battle that no one can see.
This is all of us though in some form or another isn’t it? Maybe not to the extreme of a debilitating crippling of my friend or finality of terminal cancer, but all of us who breath in and out have something we are fighting against…fighting for…
Different mountains to climb.
Different rivers to cross.
Different roads to choose.
Different…and yet the same somehow.
To pretend that no one walks around with some weight upon them would be to deny the human existence.
We weren’t meant for this though, whatever the battle may be, it is not as it was intended.
We weren’t meant to be confused – we were meant to have clarity and peace in knowing whose we are..who we belong to and where we are destined to be.
We weren’t meant to be exhausted – no we were meant to enter a rest. We were meant to experience the garden and remain there – in peace…in a rest that is incomparable to what we ‘think’ rest means.
We weren’t meant to be hopeless, but to be anchored, set apart, and steadfast full of hope.
We weren’t made to be fearful. No. we were fearfully and wonderfully made with purpose and on purpose to glorify and take awe of the one who shaped and formed those frames with certainty.
We weren’t made to be weary.
We weren’t designed to be in pain physically, emotionally, mentally.
We weren’t made to endlessly be striving, chasing, existing.
We weren’t made to feel like outsiders, outcasts, unloveables. No we were meant to be included into the grandest mystery of love and sacrifice and satisfaction that our hearts were meant to behold and to be held within.
We weren’t made to waste our moments and our days.
We weren’t meant to feel unsatisfied and yet we do, in all of us, underneath the shell of our outer appearance is an unrelenting dissatisfaction that cries for something to fill us beyond what this world could ever hope to give us.
We weren’t meant to question our worth based on the appeal of others.
We weren’t made to chase pots of gold at the end of rainbows that don’t really exist. We weren’t meant to be distracted.
We weren’t made to be unsatisfied – We were made to be satisfied and yet these are all some of the places our battles rage, not limited to such but some.
We were meant for more. We were intended for more and yet – sin – it was not intended and the result is pain in all forms, in all battles, in all of us.
But the cure for such pain, the cure to each ache, the remedy. It is found in between and in the middle of that pain, that ache, that uncertainty, that want, that need, that…thing…whatever it is inside us…that needs more…hopes for more…whatever that thing is..that reminds us that we need more of Him.
It isn’t when we avoid the pain that we find Him, it’s in the midst of it even more so.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
For when we are stripped of everything, things we thought ought to be so, things we wished were so, things we needed to be so, it is when those things are not as they should be that we find the one who is all we could ever begin to need is all that we truly need.
In this place we find Him and when we get to that place this happens.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7