When Hard Times Hit
Hello my friends, it’s been a while since I last wrote here. This isn’t going to be the usual post on DIY, cooking, gardening, or anything else that I usually write about. This is going to be about life. Challenging times come into our lives, sometimes for a season, and sometimes they seem to never leave.
I don’t think there is anyone reading this who hasn’t been affected by hard times, difficult, challenging, and even gut-wrenching times. Life can just be so hard! I could write a list of all the hard times I have gone through this past year, physically my body hasn’t wanted to cooperate with my ability to walk. My muscles are doing a spastic “dance” at all hours of the day. Like a twisted tango to a song of pain. There is no joy in chronic pain, it sucks it out of the very marrow of my being. Everything is shrouded by the beat of throbbing like a pied piper is playing a song of misery that only pain seems to hear and respond to.
PAIN AND SUFFERING
Pain isn’t something new to this world, it’s been around as long as Adam and Eve’s first sin. I am not alone, even though pain is isolating; there is a type of fellowship in suffering. We understand each other, even if our pain is different. You don’t have to have broken, twisting bones and muscles, your pain could be from loss. The loss of a loved one, that pain is a heartache that cannot leave. It’s an all-consuming fire of grief. It’s as if reality has left your world, and you’ve woken up in an alternate universe where nothing makes sense anymore, and you want to get out of the nightmare of that loss. No matter how long ago that loss is, your life as you knew it is no longer the same, and the loss of the one you loved stays with you.
WHAT’S OUR RESPONSE?
Hard times can be physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It’s not if hard times are going to come, it’s when. What is our response? Do we go around afraid to love because we don’t want to be hurt again? Should we stop trusting, and become suspicious of everyone’s actions because of past betrayals? Do we isolate ourselves, trying to insulate our lives from anyone and everything so we won’t be hurt, won’t face loss, or have to deal with grief? I’ve done just that in the past. My life was falling apart. The one thing I loved the most was gone. There was no joy, I didn’t want to hurt like that ever again so I built an imaginary fortress around my heart. The castle walls were impenetrable, I couldn’t even hear God’s voice because I had not only walled off my emotions, I had hardened my heart like a steel casket encasing it from life itself. No one and nothing was ever going to hurt me again. It was a dark time, void of all things that brought me joy, yet it couldn’t last. Do you know why? Because in each of us, there is a God-sized hole in our hearts. He loves us so much, and no matter what, He can, and will break down every wall to run and rescue us.
Love breaks through! Every pain, every hurt, sorrow, grief, hopelessness. There is joy in the small things, the song of birds trilling in the morning, the buzzing of bees collecting sweet nectar. The vibrant colors in nature, all show us God’s love for us. There is hope in each new day.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED
I’ve learned every pain I’ve ever endured has given me the opportunity to overwhelmingly love and come alongside someone else who is going through hard times, tough, immeasurably difficult, and sometimes life-ending times. I’ve sat and rubbed the feet of a friend through every chemo treatment, even to the end of her life. I’m feeding, and loving on my best friend who is losing the battle of early onset Alzheimers, and spending as many moments as I can with her, whether she remembers me or not, because I am now the “memory keeper.”
Perhaps you’ve closed yourself off in hopes to try and protect your heart from hurt. I want you to know I care. When hard times hit, you are not alone. God loves you and has a plan for your life. He knew you before you were even formed in your mother’s womb. He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. You matter. Your pain matters. You are loved. Take heart, my friend, as you are sojourning in this life alongside me. God is with you, goes before you, and will always be with you. We have His Word on it.
GOD IN THE HARD THINGS
When hard times hit, I hope this post brings you some comfort and peace. Knowing that you are not alone, that God loves you, and that in life we are all together in this. No one is immune from hard times, but none needs to be alone either. Let’s build each other up. Offer, if nothing else, a smile to a stranger; because you never know what hard challenges they are facing, and your smile might just be the bright spot in their otherwise difficult day. Let me leave you with this prayer from my heart.
Lord God, I thank you for this day. Thank you for whoever may be reading these words. I pray that they would be encouraged in the hard things that life has, or has had for them. I pray for comfort where there is pain, sadness, and sorrow. May they sense your overwhelming presence and peace to lead them each day. I pray for hearts to be softened. Oh Lord God, we look to you and thank you for all that you have made. Thank you for all of creation that shouts your name, and the beauty that you have surrounded us with. We praise you, for you alone are worthy, and we thank you for this day. Amen
Till next time, my friends.