James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)
Life is messy. It’s not meant to be a straight path. The twists and turns are there for a reason; they help us grow and shape us to become the people we are meant to be. How we react will show us how far we’ve come and how much further we still need to go!
I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m far from perfect. I make hundreds of mistakes and almost always say the wrong thing, but I also know that I do a lot of good. I don’t have all the answers to life or even know where I’m meant to be heading, but I do know that there is a Lord and Savior who has got my back and is leading me the entire way through!
Over the last couple of week’s I’ve noticed how wound up I get when I see people on social media living the “high life.” They have found their soul mates, had a baby, added a pet to the equation, have strong faith, or seem to have it all together (though I know they don’t). Social media is an illusion of the lives people want you to see and wish that they had. I’m not a person who pretends; what you see is what you get with me; so, I think that’s why I get so agitated when I read articles or posts with people declaring how amazing their lives are and about the incredible miracles they see on a daily basis when I know that they’re actually going through a tough time.
As I read these posts, my first thoughts are usually, “Oh sure, they get the good life while the people who are 100% dedicated to God/YHVH are in turmoil almost 24/7 and never see the break of dawn!” For a minute, it makes me feel discouraged to see how God seems to be blessing those who are doing the bare minimum for His Kingdom while the ones who are full-fledged are suffering.
I guess, in a way, the disciples of Yeshua/Jesus are a lot like Job! He had everything taken from him, yet he still trusted in God and didn’t falter in his faith. So, shouldn’t we rejoice with those who God is blessing, no matter how hard that can be, since we are all a part of the same kingdom and are not called to be jealous or discouraged when others are being rewarded? No matter how rough your life seems now, others are going through much worse! Everyone gets discouraged, but we shouldn’t stay in that mindset.
The devil hits us all at a certain point in life. It may be early on, in the middle, or right towards the end, but it always occurs. The ones the devil hates the most are the ones he knows will cause the most damage, so he’ll attack them regularly.
As I’m sitting here writing this, I realize that the reason I feel continuously beaten down is that the devil doesn’t want me to stand on my own two feet since he knows that when I do, I’m going to bring hell into his life (well, more than the one he’s already living in). God made me a fierce warrior, and there is no way I’m going to back down without a fight!
So, even though at this very moment I can’t go climbing up mountains singing The Sound of Music, I know that my sharpest weapon comes out when I’m sitting down with my laptop, placing my fingers on the keys and letting them do the spectacular. I’ve never been the kind of person who forces the words to come out; I believe that when it’s the right moment, the words will transpire and form cohesively onto the page in front of me!
Before writing this, I watched an episode from one of the greatest shows ever made called This is Us! I don’t enjoy this show because it entertains me and causes me to forget the world; I love it because, for once, Hollywood made something that is pure and real to what life is all about (well, mostly).
The show follows one particular family, the Pearsons, and the struggles they face throughout their lives. It’s not one of those shows where everyone has his or her heads in the clouds, and life is handed to them. No, this show goes deep into many of the trials that we might face in our lifetime. It shows the world that it’s actually alright not to be okay and that we don’t have to like a person’s character in every episode.
Life is a rollercoaster, and I know there have been times where even my parents haven’t been my biggest fans, and that’s okay! We all have those instances in our lives where we’re struggling to become the people we are called to be, and during that period, we may not be the best humans on this planet.
However, I do my best to find the joy in the journey, in the hardships, in the love, in the unity, in the chaos, in the illnesses, in the sorrow, and in the happiness. That is precisely what life is, one big giant mess that forms a beautiful picture in the end! We’re God’s masterpieces, and each of us has something different to bring into this world.
For me, I’m sure my canvas is bursting with color, but there is also some black in there from when I’ve been dispirited while in the middle of a trial. However, my entire canvas isn’t completely black because I choose to see the colors of this world rather than just the sorrow and hardship.
If people genuinely want to know the real you, show them. You have nothing to hide or lose because the God who created you will never falter in His love for you! Don’t hide behind the facade of what you think people want to see because we’re all seeking truth in this world! I believe that even though I’m a complicated pickle a lot of the time, I’m still proud of the person I’m becoming and the person I was along the way. I have no regrets because the mistakes I’ve made have helped me get to the place I’m at right now!
So, who are you? What do you think your canvas looks like? There are so many instances in life where we believe that we’ve utterly failed when in reality, falling doesn’t mean we can never get back up. In fact, if we can’t get up, that’s when we need to cry out to God, who is there with His hands outstretch whenever we need them! Will you take His hand?
THIS IS US!