My friends and family know that I am under a great deal of stress these days because I am constantly asking for prayer. Uncertainty about the future of my husband's job, concerns about family and friends who are going through a rough time, and today's diagnosis of extra dental work (I'm having a tooth crowned and a cavity filled in the near future) have left me distracted and discouraged. Yet I know that God is in control of all these things, that He will keep His promises to provide for us, and that He is working all things together for our good. Still, more than once I have asked myself the question, If you trust God, why are you still so sad? I know I shouldn't be. There are people whose problems are far worse than mine. But I am human and sometimes I hurt, too.
Perhaps my sadness can be attributed to the fact that I'm just overdue for a good cry. Or my hormones are out-of-whack. But more than likely I am a little frustrated that being a Christian doesn't exempt us from the drama so characteristic of families with teenagers. Unlike the Cleaver family who had it all together in the era of high-heeled, pearl-wearing housewives, we are a modern family with complicated problems just like everyone else. We are imperfect parents whose teenagers are struggling to find their way in a world that is hostile and ugly.
My tears are not a symbol of mistrust. But they are the badge of a battle-weary saint who wants to see a little more of heaven here on earth. I'm so tired of the constant fight between good and evil, and of watching my kids struggle to embrace the truths I know -- that God is good, His grace is sufficient, and a personal relationship with Jesus is their only hope for true and lasting fulfillment -- while the world is sending them a completely different message.
The Bible says that there is a time to weep and a time to laugh (Ecclesiastes 3:4) and that those who mourn are blessed, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4). Despite my sadness this week, I have experienced the joy of knowing God is ever-present to help and to hold me in the middle of my storm. His presence has been so real to me. I know that I am not walking through this dark valley alone. God is with me. My praying friends are with me, too. Thank you for praying me through.
Lord, You know all about tears because even You, Jesus, wept when You saw how heartbroken Your friends were over the loss of their loved one. That is how compassionate You are! Comfort those who are heavy-hearted, and bless the friends who weep and pray for those who mourn. It is in times of sorrow and stress that we realize how much we need not only You, but the friends You have sent into our lives. Help us to be mindful of the needs of others and to offer Your encouragement to those who need it most.
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