Life is Difficult

REV SUSAN BRANDT

Life is difficult
I think Dr. Scott Peck summed it up best when he said “life is difficult . It is a great truth because when we truly see this truth we begin to transcend it”
I sense for many folks there is an expectation that because we give our life to Jesus are life will or can be constantly victorious without suffering and without difficulty
in the triumphal part of our church community suffering with Jesus is seen as weakness, lack of faith or even evidence of sin. If we pray for healing or miracles God will give us exactly what we ask for right now
my personal experience has been that God will do what ever God chooses to do precisely when he chooses to do it. And in the way he chooses to do it
it is presumptuous for me to tell God what to do. It is his prerogative to do as he pleases
there could be no resurrection without blood shed on Calvary. Jesus invites us to pick up our cross and carry it in order to be his disciple. And yet, Jesus could not carry his own cross on the way to Golgotha he fell under the weight of his own cross and needed someone else to carry it for him. So why does Jesus ask us to do something he himself could not do. Why, because my cross is so heavy that when I pick it up it will eventually cause me to fall flat on my face it will bring suffering and cause me to come to the end of myself. Only then in that place will I experience my most intimate encounter with Jesus as he personally lifts the burden of my cross from me
as we are humbled before the Lord he will lift us up
my life is in a constant process of healing. I have not experienced any presto magical healing miracles just a steady, constant healing process from death to life
from sorrow to joy
from despair to hope
Christians around me are sometimes impatient
as I experience his strength that flows from my obvious weakness and brokenness. Many are afraid to get close for fear that their own weakness might be revealed
sometimes I sit in church, bleeding all over my soul
I sit amongst the people of God, bleeding
what will they do with all this pain
with a move away from the red splattering
with a whisper about me and disgust
will they try to understand
or will they make bandages and gently cover my wounds

So much about Scripture is about lamentation
crying out to God in the midst of pain
how long, Lord, how long???
Miracles can and do happen, but not always and not to everyone in the way we expected to
I’m so glad Paul had that thorn in his flesh and I’m glad we don’t know what it was
all I know is that he suffered with it all his life, God told him there was a divine purpose for his suffering
as long as God has a purpose for my suffering I can injure the healing process
life is difficult but my joy comes in knowing I am God’s beloved right now
therefore, I shall fight the good fight until the day of complete healing comes

quotes number one the road less traveled by Scott Peck,
number two survivor prayers by Catherine Foote