So many people I’ve talked to recently speak of feeling “beat up” especially after the holidays. Family time has been scathing and torturous rather than enjoyable. Relationships you thought you could count on have turned on you and left you feeling betrayed. The days you looked forward to because of what they are “supposed to be” as portrayed by our culture have stung you like a scorpion hiding in a shoe.
It’s easy to take a look at the future following these kinds of things and imagine all the worst-case scenarios of continuing on this path. We can already feel the pain and heartache. When we love, we become vulnerable, and this vulnerability is scary.
It means we can be hurt again and again by those who are not gentle with our hearts. It means we can writhe in the agony of continued betrayal. It means that some mornings, you may not want to get out of bed and face whatever is going to meet you there.
But we also don’t go alone. God has made Himself incredibly vulnerable to pain as He has chosen to love us. And we turn on Him, betray Him and judge Him constantly. But He doesn’t let that close Himself off to us. He continues to hold that open heart for us, recognizing our lack and carrying us with His persistent, constant love.
We don’t have to have enough for whatever family difficulties are pursuing us right now. We don’t have to know the way ahead in the mess we find ourselves in today. We don’t even have to think it’s possible. God is famous for doing the impossible. There are no impossible situations with God.
Whenever I think it’s up to me to deal with this circumstance, I am drowning quickly. I don’t have a clue where to start!
But when I come back to Jesus and recognize He is holding and sustaining and carrying and being all the “explosive power” I need for today, I can walk forward in peace and rest. I love the Passion Translation on Philippians 4:12-13: “I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.”
I know that often my lack is in the strength for the difficulties of today, and that’s ok, for His power flows through and is all the strength I need. I don’t need to know how it’s all going to turn out (although I’d sure love that sometimes!!) but instead can learn to trust the One who does know the future, and loves me radically through it.
I think one of the most poisonous lies of the enemy is that God is detached. He may know the future, but if He doesn’t care about us, what difference does that make? But He does love us furiously, and He is a good Father. He is wholly involved, choosing to allow Himself to be vulnerable even when we spit in His face. Man, that is some incredible love!