Joy for the Heart that Hurts
I was kind of at a loss for what to post about today. So I thought I'd introduce you guys to another project I'm working on. This is still in its very early stages, but it's something I feel very strongly about. Joy for the Heart that Hurts will be a devotional for those struggling with pain and hardship, but my plan is to write and present it to the world as a blog. Every week day for a year there will be a post about finding joy in a world full of pain and suffering. Maybe one day it will also be published as a book. Who knows. For now, this is the first post/entry in that journey.
It’s a little cliché to blame it all on Adam and Eve (not just Eve, people, Adam was standing right there), but the truth is, we live in a broken world. There’s no escaping the fact that we live alongside violence, ignorance, carelessness and misunderstanding. We are now separated from God in his holiness. The fall not only gave us toil and hardship and death, it also broke our relationship with God. He’s over there and we’re over here and ne’er the twain shall meet. No matter how much he loves us, no matter how much he grieves for the separation, he can’t just bridge the gap. His holiness and his perfection will not tolerate us in his presence. As a result we get to fight through pain and suffering. No one is immune. The completely idyllic, happy life, untouched by any sort of ugliness does not exist.
But when God found our screwed up fore-father and mother in the garden, hiding because they were naked, he didn’t say “Well, that was a bust. Guess I’ll just sit back and watch the world go to crap.” He solved the problem of our separation. He gave us a mediator. Someone to speak to him on our behalf. Someone who died for our sins and made us clean so we can stand before our heavenly father again without shame. If you don’t know Jesus Christ already, here’s your chance to snag an introduction. Jesus, meet my friend, a sinner but trying so hard to overcome their nature. Friend, meet Jesus, your Lord and Savior.
I’m saved. Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and made me white as snow. But I’m still in pain. My heart hurts. Why? Because I am a new creation still living in a broken world. And until Christ returns, that’s the way it is. But we’re not just lumbering along, surviving until we get to a better place. God has a plan for our time here on Earth. And we need to push past the pain, the hurt, the anger, the bitterness and the suffering, in order to see joy, and love, and hope, and his glory reflected in the lives around us. Again, God didn’t say “Good luck”, and stroll off to play a round of cloud golf. He’s given us tools. He’s given us the Holy Spirit, the wisdom of our friends and teachers, and scripture.
So don’t be afraid to hope, my friend. You’re well equipped. And you’re not fighting alone.