“You turn the key, and close the door behind you. Drop your bags on the floor. You reach for the light, but there’s darkness deep inside, and you can’t take it anymore. ‘Cause sometimes the living takes the life out of you. And sometimes living is all you can do. Life is hard; the world is cold. We're barely young and then, we're old. But every falling tear is always understood. Yes, life is hard, but God is good.”
I’m not going to lie. After I was forced to leave my job and move back in with my parents because my body was shutting down, I got angry at God. For a moment, I may have even hated Him. There was nothing to indicate He cared about what was happening to me. If He saw me and all my problems, why didn’t He intervene? Why didn’t He stop it? And at that moment, as I let myself truly feel the depth of the pain, hurt, and anger I was in, I picked up my Bible, my most prized possession, and I walked over to the trash can ready to throw it and my Christian faith in the garbage. Yet, I stopped myself. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So for the first time in my life, I stopped pretending I was okay – that I had the perfect faith and trust in God. I became real with God. I told Him exactly how I felt about my life, my sickness, my problems, the people who had walked away because they couldn’t deal with my illness, and Him; I told God what I thought about Him. And I’ll tell you a secret – I didn’t get struck by lightning!
Somewhere along the way, the majority of Christians have adopted the notion that we can’t be completely honest with God, that we have to put up a façade with Him and other Christians. But the crazy thing is He already knows what we think and how we feel. Yet because we try to pretend we fully trust Him, we hurt ourselves. God can handle our lack of faith, our doubt, our questions, our anger. He’s a big God; He can handle the truth. The problem comes when we refuse to be honest with ourselves and Him. He cannot help us if we don’t let Him. It took me awhile to understand this, but I got angry at God for not intervening in my life, yet I spent years telling Him I didn’t need Him. Don’t get me wrong – I went to church every week, read my Bible every day, said the Sinner’s Prayer as a child, but every day I lived my life for myself. I may have said and done all the right things, but I did what I wanted without consulting with God. I spent my money the way I deemed fit. I used my free time to do what I wanted. I dealt with my problems on my own. I didn’t need God, that is until my life came to a screeching halt.
Since that time, I've learned the truth of the song by Pam Thum. Life is hard, but God is good. I want to encourage you in whatever challenges you’re facing right now. God does see you. He knows what you’re going through, and He cares. Don’t pretend with Him like you’re okay. Be honest about everything. Ask Him to help you see things through His eyes. Your problems may never go away, but you will be able to handle whatever life throws your way because God will be there with you, holding your hand, and helping you through the storm. Yes, life is hard, but God is good.
“You start to cry, 'cause you've been strong for so long, but that's not how you feel. You try to pray but there's nothing left to say, so you just quietly kneel. In the silence of all that you face, God will give you His mercy and grace. Jesus never said it was an easy road to travel. He only said that you would never be alone. So when your last thread of hope begins to come unraveled, don't give up, He walks beside you on this journey home. And He knows: Life is hard; the world is cold. We're barely young and then, we're old. But every falling tear is always understood. Yes, life is hard, but God is good.”
© November 13, 2013