I know you feel stuck and bleak and frustrated. I know being in the bleary, grinding middle is exhausting. The days run together and you feel like life is passing as you tread water.
Hear me when I say that hard is relative. Hard is just hard, regardless of where the weary comes from. Yes, there are the orphans with the distended bellies and the war widows and the homeless and the whole broken weight of humanity. But you are still allowed to say "this is hard." Because everyone is fighting a battle and it's important to be kind - especially to yourself. So look at your fight and your Fear and acknowledge that yes, it is hard. This is your hard. Be in it and don't run from it or numb from it or hide from it. Be in it.
Because hard is not permanent and on some level you know that. This is not the end of your story. God is writing redemption and it doesnt happen in one day. And it doesn't happen on your strength. He is the God who sent birds to feed Elijah in the desert, He is the God who sent manna to the Israelites every morning.
Mercy and manna are new every morning.
He has always led you by headlights. He has never given you reserves; only daily bread. And there is mercy in that - choose to see the mercy in that. He keeps you reaching to keep you close.
He is good and He promises to give good gifts to His children. Wrestle with Him and beg to see the blessings. You're allowed to bellow and lament and ask what He's up to. You're allowed to call on His promises and cry for clarity.
He can handle it.
He is bigger than it and bigger than your now and bigger than your story.
Remember Jen Hatmaker's wise words:
Your story is not finished. Every hero and heroine must wade through the conflict to get to the end, and you can trust God because he is good. If you have nothing else to cling to, remember this: God is good. He loves goodness and justice. He heals and redeems. He is on the side of love and beauty. He is for you. He is never against you. You may be against you, other people may be against you, but God is not against you.
It is okay to be confused; I'm afraid that is our lot as finite creatures dealing with an infinite God. Some of God's best heros were confused in their subplots. But I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on. Because God is good and he is for goodness.
Trust - yes, in spite of it all - that He is always good and you are always loved. Fill up on Him today and keep fighting that good fight.
Further in and higher up,
(originally published on 2/14/2014)