We can all agree that suffering stinks like a puppy that hasn’t had a bath in a while. It comes out of nowhere, no matter how much we expect it. It breaks out hearts or our bones. It brings a new weight onto our shoulders. It crashes into our routine lives and overturns issues we thought we could just push aside and deal with later.
But maybe that’s the point. Maybe suffering is designed to stir us up out of apathy. It shakes us out of spiritual sleep. If we’re looking at the ground when a massive wave throws itself at us, we’ll definitely look up.
When that wave comes, sometimes all we see is the wave. But if we raise our eyes a little higher, we’ll see Jesus. He is greater than any wave.
“But the wave! It’s there! I gotta go! I don’t have time for Jesus!”
I don’t have time for Jesus.
Friends, that’s a lie. That’s a lie the devil whispers to every single one of us at some point or another.
In times of trouble, it’s tempting to crawl into our own little world. Stop eating, stay awake all night, stop socializing, and tread water in our own tears. It’s too easy to be so distracted by sorrow that we ignore prayer, reading the Bible, and seeking soul-food. While there’s a time and place for sadness, something’s not right when that sadness becomes a barrier between us and Jesus.
In the midst of trouble, we are desperately in need of Jesus. By shutting Him down, hitting the pause button on our faith for the sake of our tears, we are holding at arms’ length the one thing that can get us through the trial.
I recently went through a dry season like this. I made up excuse after excuse to get out of reading the Word every day. There were even nights I hated to read about hope when life felt so hopeless. I’m not proud of that. Those thoughts are deluded and founded on my own pride rather than the grace of God.
Let’s make it our life’s goal to follow Jesus no matter what happens. He is the reason we’re even here in the first place. He is the reason we have any reason to live. Let’s worship in, through the calm and through the storm. It is well with our soul because Jesus is real. Because He died, we can die to our sins. Because He lives, we can live anew in Him. Let’s run to Jesus. He is the only One that can hold us together.
Jesus is Lord.