Have you ever run into someone who was rude or oddly quiet? Usually we take offence or assume something negative (I think it’s in our sin-nature). But, what if that person is just genuinely overwhelmed by something they can’t talk about? What if they just don’t have the words to express what’s going on?
We so often see this in children. They don’t know how to express the big feelings that are inside of them, how to communicate what their minds are thinking and bodies are feeling. So it comes out in tantrums or withdrawal or biting or misbehaving in any number of ways. And we easily forget that they are just trying to communicate. Trust me, I forget all the time. My temper runs hot and my patience short when it comes to their big feelings….
And, adults, well, we expect them to have the whole “feelings” thing figured out. But do you? Because I sure don’t. I’m a hot mess. Especially when I’m wrestling with something or overwhelmed with any number of things life has thrown my way. We make excuses for ourselves but forget that others are dealing with similar things. Yes, sometimes those things are self-inflicted. But, often times, they aren’t. But should it matter if the things we struggle with are self-inflicted or not?? Even those self-inflicted struggles are sometimes consequences we recognize but cannot change. Knowing it is our own fault definitely doesn’t make the struggle easier…
But, I digress…the point of this post….well, one of them… is that you never really know what someone is struggling with. I, somewhat, write this selfishly. People see me and often see a chipper 30-something momma who has it all together. But I am FAR from that. Currently, I am struggling with the weight of a life-changing decision, numerous health issues (including chronic pain) that are yet to be solved, side effects from medications that *might* help, looming depression from said issues, and the constant needs of a 6 and 3 year old.
It is SO easy for me to wallow in self-pity, to grab the blanket, hide from the world, and believe that my life is sooooo difficult. And, yeah, my life isn’t a walk in the park right now. It is heavy and messy and difficult. But so is your life. So is the life of your neighbor, the brother or sister who sits three rows back in church, your actual sibling, and so on… They may not have my struggles. They may not have your struggles. But, heaven knows, they have struggles.
Shouldn’t we all try to be a little more patient with others?? Love your neighbor as yourself, right? What if they were dealing with what you are? Would they handle it the same? Would it be a breeze? Or would it break them? We cannot know.
What I do know is that my hope is in Jesus. As I sat down this evening, wanting to curl up on the couch and disappear, I opted to, instead, read from the Word of God and listen to some worship music. I’m SO glad I did. Nothing changed in that time. I still have the same struggles. But my burden was lightened as He took on some of that load. As I wrapped up my reading, the song Another in the Fire came on. It was exactly what I needed to hear. He doesn’t promise to take away the fire but He DOES promise to be with me through it. No matter what I face, He is by my side. And, sometimes, He is holding back more than I am facing and I don’t even know it.
There is another in the fire…
Today was a hard day for me. But it was a day of rejoicing for a sister in Christ. While she was in the fire for some time, today was the day that fire went out. And I am rejoicing with her.
As for me, just as Radshack, Meshack, and Abednego said – my God will save me. But EVEN IF HE DOESN’T – I still believe.
I was going to end here, but I think I need to add: It is okay to not be okay. Yes, I know that the Lord is with me, but that doesn’t mean the fire doesn’t hurt. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have to wrestle.
So, if you see me and I seem quiet….if I don’t say hello or I come off as short or rude, please be patient. My heart is hurting. Most days, I carry it well. But some days I’m just exhausted…
Be patient with me. I’ll do my best to do the same for you!