Well, it's amazing.
I know I've been mentioning my struggles lately, my stress and frustrations (as much as I can on a blog without dragging out all the details!). I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining.
The truth is, Life is Hard sometimes. And I know I'm not the only one who can attest to this.
So, there are these things, these areas of my life that I've been wrestling with. Just so you know, I'm on top of the "Christian" thing to do. I pray and pour my heart out to God. And I've already mentioned that I'm trying hard to do the "praising in the hard times" thing. I'm still working on it. Can you feel completely miserable and still profess to believe that God is God, and in control? Well, if so, I'm slogging my way through it.
I don't share this stuff just to vent. I mean, I do think it's important to have people in your life that you can tell things to. For me, talking it out with others really helps me get things in perspective. (Because again, things are always worse in my head than in reality.)
I share it because it's Real, and it's what's going on in my life, and I don't think that praising God through the bad stuff means that you act like everything is great when it's not. When I pretend like I'm fine, as I'm prone to do, to avoid pity, I am depriving others of the Reality that Life will get rough. I can't act like things are great all the time and that I never wrestle or struggle, or those who are struggling will think there is something wrong with their faith. And that's simply not true. Every person in the Bible who had an active relationship and vivid encounter with God also had times of hardship and struggle. It happens. And we could get into theological discussions of why--whether God is testing us, or allowing it to grow us and bring us closer to him (hard things to tell someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, and not very comforting), or if it is the work of this fallen world and our Enemy. But the bottom line is that God is still in control.
He is sovereign. He is in the big things and the small things. And most of all, he is good.
I started out my day stressed, frustrated, and tired. Things were weighing heavily on my heart. I was wrestling with my situation and circumstances, and things that are simply out of my control. And yes, I was praying, and acknowledging God's control. But I was still under attack.
Then, in a heartbeat, just when I needed it most, I received encouragement. This is the other reason I share about my struggles. To show how God works through them. Not one, but two people reached out to me with very needed words of encouragement. God is good. So very good.
And isn't it amazing how He uses us, as flawed and selfish as we are, to lift others up? That is so very important, such a vital part of our purpose here on Earth. Just being there, being available, listening to a friend--it sounds cliche, and yet it saved me today. God knew just what I needed. And so I praise Him.
God is good--ALL the time.