The Trouble with Troubles

Have you ever been in the position where you keep hoping things will get better, easier, less painful, but they don't? In fact, if we are honest with ourselves, we just see more of the same barreling towards us like a five ton elephant. Nothing against the pachyderms, in fact, they are one of my favorite animals. However, I wouldn't want to be standing on an open plain in Africa, with a large tusky male charging at me! So why shouldn't I feel troubled that difficulty only stands just far enough away to get a running start? Over and over and over.

Pixabay

Pixabay

Okay, so maybe I am part of the problem. I keep getting back up! Stupid! Just lay down. Let Jumbo squash me again and again. Somehow that seems less painful than getting up only to be knocked down again. 

Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary
— Isaiah 40:31 (NASB)

When I am in that prone position, having gotten run over for what seems like the millionth time, I am in a perfect place to look up. Oh, there are times, the charge comes from behind me and I end up face down in the savannah, but eventually I roll over and I see the sky. God's word says, "those that wait for the Lord will gain new strength." If I am weary, it is most likely the case that I am not waiting for Him. I am probably frantically running, trying to fix things, trying to hide things, trying to take control of a charging elephant. 

Pixabay

Pixabay

God knew this fragile thing He made called humanity would get weary. We would get fatigued, tired, worn out, done in, call it what you want, but He knew. He said, "They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary." That's why I keep getting back up. I'm supposed to keep moving. I'm supposed to run. I'm supposed to walk and when I can no longer walk I am supposed to mount up on wings.....His wings. The wings of the almighty Jehovah Eagle!

Resting in the Lord is not dependent on your external circumstances at all, but on your relationship with God Himself.
— Oswald Chambers - My Utmost for His Highest - July 4th
StockSnap

StockSnap

Life is not going to stop being difficult. That elephant is not going to stop charging, but God! God can give us rest. He can give us peace. He can! He will, but I have to want it. I have to want Him. Sure I can tackle the elephant on my own, but I guarantee, that big old difficulty is going to come out in better shape than I do. Unless....Him.

Respite

Today was an unusually warm February day here in the midwest. The sun was shining, a warm breeze blowing and it honestly felt like spring. I decided to get some much needed light therapy and go for a walk. The sun touched my face and it felt like God caressing my cheek. As I walked I thought how beautiful it was, yet I could tell that it was still winter. It was as though creation had taken a deep breath and held it, for a little while. The weather forecast shows that "mother nature" will be letting out her breath tomorrow and chilly temps and clouds will return.

The Psalmist penned these words in Psalms 19:1-2, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge." Walking around my neighborhood, I could see the drab signs of winter in the brown plants and grass and the leafless trees stretching their branches heavenward. But I found myself thankful, even though I knew tomorrow would bring the reality that we were still a month away from Spring. I thanked God for the respite.

Life get's hard. In his book Our Ultimate Refuge: Job and the Problem of Suffering (also known by Baffled to Fight Better), Oswald Chambers says, "The basis of things is not reasonable, but wild and tragic..." Satan is not going to let this world go without a fight and many of us struggle with battle fatigue. We often feel like soldiers on the front, with nothing to eat, no cigarettes and very little ammunition. Just when we think we can't take it any more, something happens. Yes, once in a while, not only are they shooting at you, but they decide to send in the mortars as well.

But God knows! God is good. God Cares, for by the very definition of the word good, He has to care. So once in a while He gives us a respite. It might come in the form of a call from a friend, a card of encouragement in the mail, a silly joke that made you actually laugh, or a restful night's sleep. Or, for me, it was two days of sunny delight in an otherwise long winter.

Beth Moore often refers to these times as "God sightings." Ann Voskamp calls it "eucharisteo" in her book One Thousand Gifts, but whatever term you want to use, there are moments, sometimes very brief, when God tells that roaring lion to, "Stand back!" I love that picture. Not only does it remind me that God is always watching, but it tells me who is really in control.