I have been working on a message called "Faith in the Unexpected Life." About how sometimes life just sucks. And bad things happen all the time - to good people, to nice people, to funny people, to lame people, to rude people, to sweet people. And sometimes life can get so tough and sad and hard and sick that the only comfort can be found in knowing that heaven is real. That this life on earth is not all there is. God absolutely works through and shows up and reveals Himself in the crud of life. I've experienced that firsthand. And yet, I know some people have such pain and difficulty in this life that they long for the next one. Eternity with God. With no tears, no cancer, no defects, no abuse, no starvation. They long for heaven.
Lately I'm seeing a lot of people around me suffering in various ways. A leader at my church just lost her husband after he took a fall down the escalator at an airport. A sister I met when I spoke at her MOPS group was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer 20 weeks into her pregnancy. They took the baby at 32 weeks and baby is doing great. Mom's cancer is now advanced stage four and doctors say it us uncurable. She has three young children. Another new friend emailed me when she found my blog and read about our baby Faith. She was pregnant with little Owen who was also diagnosed with Trisomy 13. He died in utero at 29 weeks. She delivered him today. Please pray for these friends.
Little Owen was just one of several things lately that has made me think of our baby Faith. To top things off, tonight I came across this paperwork as me and the kids were having a shred party of old documents. Memories for planning a funeral and burial for our firstborn. Shred please.
Even though God is good, life can suck. Our world is broken, fallen, and ill.
Shiloh and I shared a little of our baby Faith story at one of our church's young adults meetings. Afterwards a young friend who has babysat for us and has been best buds with Elijah since he was two came over to us. He did not know us through our Faith journey and said "Something I keep thinking is that you just don't know the things people carry around with them." He knew us, but until then he didn't really think about or really know our Faith story. A part of us that we carry around with us every day. I now carry around that thought with me a lot "You just don't know what people carry around with them."
So what's the point of this post except catharsis for me and possibly depression for you?
A reminder to you (and me) that "You just don't know what people carry around with them." So have some grace. (This is kind of a theme I learning from God lately if you read my post about the scantily clad white-trash woman at church.) You don't know what people are going through right now or what they have been through in the past. You don't know if they just lost a spouse, picked out a casket for their unborn child, escaped an abusive relationship and found shelter in a church. Grace. Grace. Grace.
An encouragement to you (and me) that this place is not our home. And if you are really struggling or suffering right now for whatever reason, it doesn't mean that God isn't good. It doesn't necessarily mean that He is disciplining you or trying to get your attention or trying to teach you something. Maybe He is. Maybe He's not. Maybe we just live in a broken, selfish, polluted, fallen world where suffering and sin abound. God weeps with you and wants to bring you peace and hope as you trust Him with your life. With your crud. With your shortcomings. With your sufferings. With your heart. With your life. Trust Him.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
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Hang in there my struggling friends. You are loved. God sees you.