We had just a horrid morning. Every single one of the kids was insane. We’re replacing the carpets in three bedrooms and that of course means moving furniture and general chaos. Well, even a slight veering from the norm, like going on holidays is a big deal for two of the kids. They’ve lived through stuff that adults shouldn’t have to see. This moving of furniture and sleeping on the floor, which would be seen as exciting by most kids triggered huge Post Traumatic Stress reactions in these two guys. They had flash backs of violence and night terrors and high, high anxiety. Just like we were at a Turrets Syndrome conference or something, this craziness triggered reactions in the other kids as well. It's been terribly difficult. We’re all exhausted. This makes my wife quite a bit less than happy which makes me . . ., well, you know. I’d like to run away. And then I remember.
Ah me, life can be hard. I’m too old for this. My arthritis is too bad, Nobody else has to do this. We have enough money to do what we want and go where we want and - and here we are raising our second batch of kids. I sound like a little kid, making excuse after excuse for not doing that which has to be done. And then I remember.
I remember Jesus, my example, my role model, the One who said, follow Me. He didn’t run from what He came to do. We, the rest of humanity spend so much time trying to squirm out of our problems that we miss the learning that is supposed to take place within our problems. And then I remember.
I remember that I want to be like Jesus. I really do want to be like Jesus. And that’s good because when it’s all stripped away, the
‘Be generous’ etc. when we’re down to the bottom line, God’s goal / intention for us is, “Be like Jesus.”
Romans 8:29 tells us that the whole reason we were called, predestined, chosen, and elected was to be transformed and conformed into the likeness of Jesus.
If I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s this.
. If our goals match those of our Creator, life makes sense.
. When I want what my Creator wants, life becomes so much easier.
. When I do what God wants me to do, my life gets better.
So I walk toward the pain.
. Rather than avoiding these terribly damaged kids, I hold them.
. Rather than thinking why can’t my wife just handle this, I listen.
. Rather than hiding, I help.
I learned a long time ago (but still struggle to accept) that the pain, the difficulty, the sorrow and disappointment that is so much a part of this life is how God changes us into the kind of people who are able to mimic Jesus.
“He learned obedience through what He suffered.”
Suffering is not just a part of God's plan for us, it's a plan that He experienced to its fullest extent. Tragedy and loss, the things that satan uses to destroy us, God uses to mature us. The very things that drive atheists from God, God uses to draw to Himself those of us who have been designated for salvation.
And so I remember.
Don’t fight it. Go towards the pain. Sit with those who are sad. Hold those who need comforting. Listen to those who are frustrated beyond belief. Just do it. Life, all of life is meant to be lived and the only way to live life as it was meant to be lived is to die to self. I believe absolutely that when Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it to the full,” He meant that we can have the quality of life that He experienced. Jesus showed us, by example, that we can step full on into the blast. We need not avoid any of life. We need not fear any of life. We can learn and grow and thrive in the midst of all of life, the easy and the difficult.
Good luck on your journey.