I ran into a friend today.
She said to me, “If you see my face and I look not as happy, just know it is because some things are hurting right now.”
I loved her honesty. I think she felt like she owed me something though; I think she felt like she had to prove that she, as a Christian, was okay to feel down. It kind of bothered me.
Jesus didn’t say, “Happy face required” to follow me.”
He didn’t say, “Pull yourself together and say what I want to hear.”
He didn’t say, “If you are having a hard time, you can’t be near me.”
He didn’t say, “Isolate yourself in a little bubble of protection if you feed sad.”
On the contrary he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mt. 11:28
Notice, he doesn’t say: I will give you giggles, a smile and a facade that looks all squeeky clean.
Here is what I have to say to you, brothers and sisters today, who are struggling:
- It is okay to feel down, Jesus can handle it.
- It is okay to wonder the whens, whys and hows – and to bring them to the Lord.
- It is okay to tell us you are struggling, we often are too.
- It is okay to say you need time away to pray; God will show up.
- Greater is God than your greatest weakness.
- God is mighty to save you from anything and everything.
- Deep learning is in the deep reflection found through pain.
- Trials that peel away self, so we find self looking a whole lot more like Christ.
- Jesus suffered. He gets you and your pain.
- There is no kind of bad attitude that will push God away from you.
He has you.
He will not abandon you.
Keep pressing on.
Keep moving your feet.
Keep trusting by faith.
He sees you.
Days will pass, emotions will ride out – and before you know it – you will be in a new season.