I’ll be honest—there are many times that I yell at my kind Father because I am confused about why He is allowing certain suffering, or how long He is taking to get people out of it. Sometimes it’s my own waiting that pushes me to frustration, while other times it’s growing weary in praying for others in their particular situation. The agony of the “not yet” seems to suck all the hope out of us, leaving us with the constant pestering question that children have asked for decades—are we there yet?
In one of my recent podcast interviews, Sherry Roberts talks about how God asked her if she wanted Him for what He could do for her, or for Himself. And that’s got me thinking of how often I really want hope to be in the future relief or change that will bring me comfort. I don’t want hope to be found in the person of Jesus, but rather in getting what I want. My ultimate goal is often to be comfortable, to not suffer, to avoid all the bad stuff.
So many times, though, I see that the removal of the places I find life, comfort or security are really the keys to freedom and becoming fearless. And no, I don’t like that any better than you do. I often throw a little temper tantrum about it even, like a small child who doesn’t get my way. I definitely never expected my life to be here, and wouldn’t have predicted it years ago in looking ahead.
I have to balance this with the other side, as I also don’t believe God just wants us to be sad all the time. God loves you and has a miserable plan for your life—that’s often our concept of Christianity. We either believe suffering is all there is to life and so we might as well just get comfortable with misery, or we believe all suffering should be avoided and so we fight tooth and nail to get out of it.
What if, instead, we discover that the gift of hope, security and even faith is found in relationship with Jesus? The point isn’t to be miserable, maybe, but to recognize things in their proper order. The good things in life aren’t supposed to be shunned, but they can’t be what holds us up or makes us happy. Instead, as we push deeper into relationship with Jesus, we can enjoy the additions without needing them.
What if the point of this life wasn’t to finally come to a place where you were comfortable and safe, as defined by no chaos happening around you? I do find it improbable in looking back over history that humanity will ever settle down into something that resembles order. There is always someone willing to entertain evil and move the world into chaos again. So, if you are waiting for the world to make sense and calm down, you may wait your whole life. If, however, you maintain a connection with the One who is your place of security no matter where you go, it doesn’t matter what chaos is happening around you.
I’m not saying we should deny the emotions that come with this. But we have to guide emotions also. So, do I get freaked out about the mess in Ukraine, or the problem of viruses, or the thousands of other issues throughout the world? Yes, absolutely. And the Father, in all His tenderness, calls me back to walking with Him, step-by-step. I will not fix any of the craziness by obsessing or worrying about it. I can, though, step into a place above the fray as I recognize the One who holds me, who holds the future, and who is interacting constantly with everyone across this crazy world. He must be my peace, not when the conflict is over. He must be my hope, not when my dreams are realized. He must be my faith, not when it all makes sense to me.
Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:6-7
Re-published with the permission of Hannah Morrell at Borken & Hopeful, a ministry created for those who feel broken to fin hope in Jesus.