The best place isn’t always the easiest place.
Please don’t picture me on a soapbox with these words.
The experience of my heart whispers it’s true, but my erring mind isn’t as easily convinced.
Because life is... life.
Clinging to turbulent existence, we never know what’s around the next corner. No matter how well established we are, or well-read, or proactive to trauma, or worrisome, we can never immunize ourselves from circumstance, accidents, a tragedy.
And no matter how perfect we assume somebody else’s life is, we all have a story.
We are all breakable. We are all vulnerable. No one is exempt.
unemployment. illness. debt. singleness. loss. failure.
tears. pain. guilt. suffering. loneliness.
It leaves us broken. It changes our plans. It causes questions.
My dear friend’s mother was just diagnosed with cancer this past week.
News like this can stop you in your tracks.
I do not know the deep feelings and emotions that she and her family have had since this diagnosis. I have no right to.
But I do know that I have a pit in my stomach. I feel at a loss not be closer to her during this time. And it’s made me second guess the line about being in the best place when it’s difficult.
This statement is easier said than done.
How does it explain or apply to the difficult circumstances in our lives? How can I find peace in these places where my heart breaks? How can I know that there is still a reason to believe in hope? What purpose is there in our troubled times? And what reason would I believe that these times are often exactly where God has placed me to be... In the center of the storm.
Hosea urges us to press on to know the Lord - he writes plainly that our lives are fulfilled in truly knowing Him and worshipping Him for who He is.
But how do we truly know Him?
Could it be that in our darkest moments, it’s actually the Lord causing us to recognize who He is, and what is character is like?
Had it not been for the difficult circumstances in my life thus far, would I really be able to testify his love and faithfulness? Would I be able to recount the times where He has heard my cry and provided? If I hadn’t gone through the valleys, how would I know that He is the only One that can bring me through?
Could it be that what I’ve gone through has made me who I am today? Is there a chance that these troubled times have molded me to fit better into His hands? That the pain has re-aligned my compass, pointing me back where I belong... To the only One who truly satisfies and brings true peace.
I think it’s fair to say that life can take the very life out of us.
When the waves come, it’s easy to sink. It's easy to drown.
We grow weary, we are emptied.
But there is a lesson in here somewhere. A decision. A choice to give in to despair, or to keep holding on. I’m afraid that I give in far too easy sometimes. But when we believe... When we choose to believe that God is sovreign, even in our darkest places, His presence is enough.
With everything in us, we have to keep holding on. Keep believing.
Believing in a bigger picture, a higher purpose, a better tomorrow. Hope.
Hope that His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts higher than our thoughts.
He is hope.
He is faith.
He is love.
And His love is strong. Strong enough to pull us through these testing times.
Even when hope is unseen, I can choose to believe that His love will see His people through, so that one day, we can look back and be amazed.
I think the most difficult place is also the place where we recognize Him most clearly. The place where we take our eyes off ourselves and onto Him. A place where refining forces us to stop and re-think about what really matters. A place where we can do nothing except draw nearer to where He has been all along. A place where we may not see it at the time but maybe, just maybe it is... The best place.