In today’s world, and in these current times it seems like everyone everywhere is really letting the issues of life get them down. Certainly, there is reason to be down; disease and even death has seemingly been our plight for the last two years, as well as an enduring volatile stock markets, high gas prices and food shortages. Many have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and in the midst of all this people are losing either their homes or living spaces due to rent increases.
Lately many have lost their lives during what amounts to a war of greed in a foreign land. Still many have lost their lives because of the carelessness and violent actions of many in our own backyards.
Jesus told us not to be dismayed at the rumors of wars. I’m guessing sometimes wars obviously do not have anything to do with armies, or tanks, or guns. Though I imagine the cars and trucks on our nation’s roads can sometimes be thought of as army tanks (especially sadly when it comes to being driven by drunk drivers). But considering that the world is in a stage of “What’s Next?” this is obviously smart advice.
As a dear friend once told me “We don’t know what will happen in the next hour.. much less if we are going to wake up in the morning.” Obviously a lot of people die unexpectedly overnight. Some due to natural causes, some due to other uncontrollable circumstances. I know it wrecks havoc in our hearts, especially when it’s someone we love. All I know is that of all things one thing in life is certain to come: death! It reminds me of Matthew 2:18 “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”
There’s a lot of distress in the hearts of the mother or father when their children are under such a burden. I know my mother’s own heart would break every time either my brother or I would face a terrible ordeal. I remember her reactions when her only teenage granddaughter at the time succumbed to an overwhelming emotional ordeal. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what hand life deals you: when someone you love is lost (even if it’s only momentarily).. you feel it!
Look at the story of Job… losing his whole family in one sweep! That must have been a very horrible experience for him! I’m sure that doubt set in. Yet even Job, in the middle of all his own pain and anguish knew that God was in control!
That’s what the message about agony and discouragement is all about to the Christian. We really go through so much.. each according to his/her own faith and much more importantly the path that God has set before us. It’s true that many don’t seemingly go through so much.. at least not as much as a our neighbor does. Sometimes it’s a known fact that we really do take our life for granted, because we believe that we have it bad. But if and when our eyes are open.. we look to see that compared to others our life isn’t so bad after all. Afte all it’s only by God’s grace that we are still here, still alive, still breathing!
But look at the life of Jesus.. a man who well knew the life of pain and misery. Jesus came down to us to live in a body of blood and flesh, and took the form of a mere man so that He may demonstrate to us that God knew what human suffering felt like. Even well before His death Jesus knew how harsh life was for His children. He identified with our despair and panic, and everything else.
Jesus was a son to a woman who watched with open eyes the harsh trials that he underwent.. and Mary got hurt. Mary got hurt bad! I imagine that Mary had a host of feelings all mixed together.. anguish, betrayal (by God, even though the bible doesn’t specifically say that, we can assume that Mary felt betrayed by the Lord because she didn’t fully understand the meaning behind everything she was experiencing).
I’m not carelessly saying, or thinking that someone who has lost their son or daughter to a drunk driver, another accident or some other cause doesn’t have it bad.
They have lost what amounts to their most precious possession.. sometimes their whole life has been taken from them and what remains of the survivors soul (no matter how strong their faith is).. is merely an empty shell. We had a dear friend suddenly lose her adult daughter to an apparently undetected health issue years ago, there was no warning except “Mom I don’t feel good!”. The mother, despite having other children and grandchildren became empty inside for many years.. the joy inside was gone!
Like I said.. a lot of discouragement. Quite a bit that surrounds us to the point that we often don’t see but a pinpoint of light in the darkness. Jesus own resurrection was, and is, our gleam of hope!… And despite our children’s overcoming endurance in the midst of their personal struggles (whether it be a mental one, a physical one, emotional.. etc) the parents still struggle because their children’s lives are not as before.
And yet, it’s this same change in lives that God is after, and what Jesus is looking for! Jesus knows that if we don’t struggle with whatever issues life comes at us with.. we don’t change.. we don’t mature in the things of God. And that progress.. the progress of maturity is often a long, painful one
You think that for most of us, traveling down the same narrow road would be easy, or get easier the further we walked (or crawled) as time went on. But Lord knows it’s always goning to be an uphill , pothole filled narrow road isn’t it? Still yet there are mountains we must climb over in the narrow valley. Most of us will get deeply discouraged in our travel, to the point that we want to give up and just stay put!
So be encouraged, because Jesus is with you, and before you, not behind you!
I want to end this post with this scripture, which I feel can do so much than a bunch of words…
Psalm 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.