I don't mean to be a downer, but I have to say it: Real life is hard...
The kids are fighting again. The laundry pile is still out of control. You're behind on responding to emails, returning phone calls, and turning in paperwork. Fixing a meal feels less than inspiring and there's no money for eating out. A child is sick. A friend is suffering. An aging parent need help. The news is depressing. And, did I mention? The kids are fighting again.
Daily life is replete with difficulty and heartache. And we, in our exasperation, go digging in our bags of tricks for what will work this time. We stick our hand in, hoping to pull out an easy fix for all our woes. But, in spite of how good we may feel right away, no amount of shopping, movie watching, internet-surfing, vacationing, organizing, exercising, talking it out, or personal bettering truly satisfies in the face of the persistent challenges in life. It's not that any of those things don't work, or are not helpful in practical ways. It's simply that there is no lasting hope an any resource we may seek to find in our personal strategies for coping with struggles and obstacles. They don't satisfy because they were never meant to.
The truth we often fight against is the truth that brings us hope:
We have no resources, within ourselves, to fix our lives...or our world. Our bags are empty. There's mercy in coming up short.
Our emptiness and bankruptcy in our own resources is exactly where the cross of Christ finds us ready for real change...for real help.
It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you. ―Timothy Keller
Do you feel helpless in your ability to train your children today? Do you wonder how you will pay your bills? Do you feel ineffective and ill-equipped for the tasks you've been charged with? Dear friend, you are right where you need to be. Cry out to our good God, and find him faithful. Yes, you will find him faithful to provide the resources, time, energy, and tools you need...but faithful, ultimately, in providing the satisfaction in your SOUL that is needed when everything else goes awry.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
Because of grace,
Ruth Simons, www.gracelaced.com