It’s been a long day. Actually, a long week. A co-worker’s husband is ill. An acquaintance has chronic and debilitating pain. A friend tells me his wife’s cancer is back, and it’s bad. Another friend tells me there is pain and brokenness in her marriage.
I’ve had my share of personal unsettledness over the last year. Some career burnout. Feeling numb and disengaged both at work and at home. I’ve done plenty of self-reflection and self-help. But after a point, that just turns into self-loathing, and the spiral only extends further downward. That isn’t working. I’ve journaled and read. And run. And that helps. For a minute. I’ve found tremendous strength in my friendships both at work and at home. Hundreds of gallons of coffee have been consumed with friends, sorting out our messy and sometimes confusing lives. But even after all of that, there is still an empty space, a painful space. Anxiousness, despair, anger at all of the emotional and physical brokenness we are trying to sort out.
My heart is aching. My head is cloudy. We are broken. And we are hurting. And I’m pretty sure I can’t really take any more. It’s all just too much.
But here is the one thing I have learned. God never promised us a life free from pain. He never said, “Hey there, if you believe in me, I’ll keep you in my happy bubble.” No. But he did come into our world. He did come to give us hope. Recently, I have experienced an unexplainable hope; a joy incongruent with circumstances; and a healing in my heart, my relationships, my job. I’ve re-engaged. And with a new sympathy and tenderness for the hurting I see around me.
This morning, I read Psalm 4. Bear with me as I take a little literary license and combine two versions (The VOICE and The Amplified Bible):
“You have freed me when I was hemmed in and enlarged me when I was in distress; bring victory in defeat and hope in hopelessness; have mercy on me and hear my prayer…Who can show us what is good? Let your brilliant face shine upon us…that we may know the undeniable answer. You have filled me with joy and happiness has risen in my heart…I will sleep securely on a bed of peace because I trust you.”
I hope you can find your hope and joy in something bigger than us. Someone who loves us more than we can comprehend.Disclaimer: My viewpoints are not necessarily reflective of my employer, or any local, regional or national organization that I belong to. As a matter of fact, I pretty much just speak for myself. Please keep that in mind.