Learning to Find Joy in Hardship
2014 has been a rough year. The roughest I’ve had in my 28 years. There have been many, many days that I’ve wished this year had never happened. I just wanted to fast forward to the end. Crap happens to everyone. None of us are immune to it. Coming to grips with this reality, and learning to persevere, is vital to actively living. If we don't persevere, life will eat us for lunch.
Persevering through the crap is a lost art. We enjoy the fleeting nature of instant gratification too much. Perhaps ‘art’ isn’t the right term, it gives a glamorous connotation, and that’s not what I’m trying to say. When life hits the fan it is not glamorous, it’s awful, and this is when what you really believe to be true comes out.
It’s easy to believe that God is good when life is good. In the midst of hardship, however, it’s not so easy. ‘Did God forget about me?’, ‘Where the heck is he!?’, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’, are all questions that we ask ourselves.
The truth that I keep coming back to, over and over again, is that God is with me. When I can’t see him or feel him, I trust that he is still there. Scripture makes this evident. Scripture also tells us that being a child of God does not make life easy. Life is full of struggle and God knows this, more than we often care to imagine.
I don’t want to trivialize the struggles we face, they are real, they are hard, and they can destroy us if we aren’t careful. But they are not everything.
Do I wish I could skip the suffering? Yes, it sucks. But I know that God is with me in it, so I’m starting to learn to find joy in the little things. I don’t want to look back on my life and realize that I was wishing away my days because life got hard. I want to enjoy the time that I have, with the people I’ve got around me, regardless of the circumstances.
God is good, all the time. We cannot forget this.