Life is hard!
Dear Woodview friends and family,
This will be a short article this week. There are two reasons for that -- the first is that I'm sitting at my computer in quite a bit of pain (twisted my back!), and the second reason is that I can state my points succinctly.
My topical statement is: Life is hard! I don't think anyone with any years under their belt will argue with that, so let me continue on to the things I'm reminding myself of.
1. So don't be surprised at the painful trials that come your way, as though something strange were happening to you (1 Peter 4:12). We live in a fallen world...we each struggle with our sinful nature. So bad stuff is going to happen!
We have to understand that we are living in the time between The Fall of Genesis 3, when sin and its consequences entered the world, and the Second Coming of Jesus when this world and all that is in it is redeemed. That means we are living in a time when things aren't supposed to be perfect or easy or comfortable -- we are living in the time when there is supposed to be suffering, pain, and disappointment. The good thing is that, because we desire perfection and ache for perfection, it clues us into the fact that we were created for better than what we are experiencing!
2. Therefore, hold on and walk faithfully! We face all kinds of trials, but we are not without resources. We have the Holy Spirit in us to guide us and give us the strength to persevere; we have the Word of God to encourage us and guide us; we have the Church to encourage each other, pray for each other, and hold each other up; and we have the hope of Christ knowing that we will spend eternity with our Lord and King.
3. So look for the times of joy and the moments of laughter. Even though this life is hard...there are wonderful blessings in this life! There are glimpses of eternity and reflections of God and flashes of Eden. Looking into the eyes of a newborn infant, watching kids run and laugh through the halls of the church building, celebrating a baptism, talking to someone wrestling with but determined to follow Jesus, witnessing the excitement of a couple about to be married, sitting with a brother or sister in Christ who is grieving but not without hope. These are some of the good things in this life -- at times we need to slow down enough to notice them or see them; but they are there. And those are the little clues given by God to remind us of His love, His power, and His eternal plan.
See you Sunday!
Jon B. Stradtner