Living in the Tension

I think we are geared as humans to try to find a way out of circumstances that don’t feel good. We want to find freedom from the tight rope of walking through the valley of the shadow of death. And yet, often it seems God asks us to stay the course and hold the tension while He provides what we need for that walking.

Many people I talk to are in these tensions. They are trying to love a wayward child, a grumpy parent, an invalid spouse or many other difficult relationships. Aren’t they all a little complicated after all?

There are days that are incredibly hard as we figure out how to live in the circumstance and relationship of the season. We hope for a change and relief someday in whatever the situation is, but for right now, we get to maintain the tension. We choose not to compare relationships to others because that’s really poisonous for our brains.

And God holds us when we feel like we will rip apart from the pulling tension of holding onto our relationship with Jesus who is our very Life while loving another who is in a different place, and sometimes is hurting themselves and us in their desperation.

How do I balance that? I don’t. I don’t have enough to do it. I can’t love in every circumstance and continue to be faithful even when it hurts with my own limited resources. God’s love is enough for the impossible situations that surround me, and He’s the only way I’m getting through.

Some nights I fall asleep begging Jesus for something, anything to break the tension.

On a morning following one of those nights for me, I woke up and a miracle had happened. I awoke with joy coursing through my veins and an excitement to love replacing all the anguish! I have no explanation for that other than Jesus’ Life in me. It was an answer—perhaps not yet the one for which I keep asking—but a beautiful one nonetheless. He didn’t free me from the tension, but He made a Way in the midst of it. And (because this isn’t a one-time fix) He continues to make that Way each moment of each day.

Whatever relationship or situation creates this tension for you, I know it’s excruciating sometimes and you feel like you will break apart. But please don’t try to generate enough strength in yourself to make it through. You and I—neither of us have enough for that. But Jesus in you provides all the love, peace, patience and all the rest you need for that complicated situation. It doesn’t necessarily take away the hurt, but His Life allows you to walk through it and pray your loved one through it. And in the midst of the hard, you can find rest for your soul.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 NASB


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