I readily admit that I do not like unpleasant things. I know this sounds like an obvious “no, duh” statement, but I’m being transparent for a reason.
I like things to go smoothly. I want life to go smoothly because living on this planet is painful at times. And not just painful, it can also be ugly, horrific, confounding and surreal.
Sometimes the ugliness and pain we experience is unavoidable because it is out of our control. It comes as the result of another person’s actions, or from an unforeseen occurrence or natural disaster.
Then there are times when we have issues in our family, in our friendships or at our jobs that REQUIRE attention. We need to be engaged, clear-headed, knowledgeable and able to respond in the best possible way so that the issues get resolved, or at least get on the right path for resolution.
At other times the problem is staring at us in the mirror…
Yes, sometimes the unpleasantness, the ugliness, is in ourselves. We can try to avoid the mirror, pretend like the issues don’t exist or that they aren’t much of a problem. This is deadly avoidance, spiritually, relationally, physically and emotionally. God does not want us to avoid sin and difficult issues, but to confront them in His power, love, wisdom, mercy and grace.
There were times before I became a Christian that the issues in my life were so complex or overwhelming that I would just shut down mentally. My brain couldn’t figure out what to do, the people in my world didn’t know what needed to be done and I all I wanted was peace. Or escape. Or both.
It is natural to want to run away from difficulty, to try to avoid an unpleasant truth, to feel overwhelmed by challenging circumstances. We lash out in anger at friends and loved ones or we hold everything in for fear of offending anyone. No one seems to have a viable solution for our problems and we believe that no one can possibly understand how we feel…
There is someone. His name is Jesus. He is intimately acquainted with physical and emotional pain, with rejection and humiliation, with lies and slander. He was misunderstood, misquoted, mocked and tortured. He lived His earthly life in obedience to His Heavenly Father, pouring Himself into others by teaching, healing and delivering them from oppressive influences. He prayed for people and served them, living an exemplary life, never doing anything wrong, never sinning, and yet He suffered a sinner’s death.
And He did it willingly, for you and for me. He does know how we feel, so we can trust Him with our feelings, with our difficult and/or tragic circumstances, with our issues and our sin. He will never reject us or fail us when we go to Him for help:
“He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.” ~ Isaiah 53:3-5 New American Standard Bible
Go to Him with you troubles, your quandaries, your problems and your sin. Don’t believe the lie that tries to convince you He has better things to do than deal with your petty little issues. He suffered tremendously for you, He has the time. And He has all the answers.
With much love!