Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hard Things

I've recently been talking to some of my grown children about hard things.

 Grown Children?  That feels weird to type and looks even weirder to read.  I'm not quite sure that I'm even grown yet. How can my children be grown?  But I had a birthday last week.  I suppose that 45 means I've grown up somewhere along the way.  And my kids?  Well, 22 is definitely grown too.  But they'll always be my babies, all seven of them.   Regardless of how old their age says they are, regardless of whether or not they are here on this earth with me, they're my babies.  I'm sticking to that. 

I hate the thought of my babies ever having to do hard things.  I wish that I could make all of their world's be sunshiney, happy,  love.......forever.  I wish that for a little moment, but then when I think about it, I don't really wish that at all.

Hard things make us better.  I believe that with every ounce of my being.  Hard things are... well....HARD.  They turn our hearts inside out and make us weak and tired.  They also make us strong and resilient and when our hearts are inside out, we can see what's going on in them a little bit more clearly.   Hard things help us sift through the life stuff and show us what's really important and what's not.  When we do hard things we learn that beautiful looks very different than we thought it did.

And God?  Sometimes we can't see him when we're in the very deep mire of hard. But when we come out of it, when we are on the other side, we look back and we realize that he was sort of in our blindspot. Right there, close beside us, but the hard stuff was blocking our view of him.  That doesn't mean he wasn't there.  It only means we couldn't see him.

But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it,
 this is commendable before God.
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you,
leaving an example that you should follow in his steps.
 1 Peter 2:20-21
Around Easter, I was listening to a radio minister. David Jeremiah or Chip Ingram maybe? I can't remember who,  but after reading this verse from 1 Peter, they said, "we are called to suffer."  I've
read this verse over and over and am committing it to memory. 

"Called to suffer" for doing good, because that's what Christ did and we are to follow his example.

All those hard things that we have to go through: they're not just some cruel twist of fate.  They're not trials that God hands out just because he feels like it.  They are a vital part of our growing and becoming more like him. 

Sometimes it looks very much like some people have alot more hard things than others.  Maybe they do or maybe we just don't know about their hard things.  It really doesn't matter.  There is danger in comparing ourselves or our lives to others.  We are not called to be like others, we are called to be like Christ.  Christ had many, many hard things.

Are you in the midst of hard? If so, God's in it.  He's in the hard things and He wants you to be like his Son.

Here's a quick photo peek at life lately

Jamee running the 1500m at the EIU Big Blue Track and Field Invite.
She has three more meets left in her track career.

Easter Morning with lots of sweetness

Moise has known so very much hard lately.  He teaches me every single day. 

4 of my children, all grown up but still my babies.
I desperately wish I could put add a new picture of Laynee Grace in her Easter dress.  But I can't, so I'll leave you with a flower from her garden instead.  A poor substitute for a picture of our little girl, but still beautiful and most importantly, the promise of life. 

God is good, all the time.

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