The Hard Truth
“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.” (RSV) Isaiah 43:4
As we journey through this month and wonder how best we can navigate the hard times that come our way; I find it an opportunity to share what I learned to do to find strength these past years in the “desert”; the very hard times in my life. Being caught up in the desert isn’t that complex as it is easy to be there without knowing how you got there. Not knowing where to go from there can be frustrating. As we journey with the Lord, we need to come to terms with certain truths. There are going to be hard times: soul-wrenching experiences, heartbreaking, disappointments etc. Hard times that will sometimes seem like an unending long path among the thorns; a winding maze in a dry place (desert); a cascading and uncontrollable surge of waves across the sea to a new dream or destination; the overwhelming urge to keep the overflowing tears back so your vision isn’t impaired on the journey.
And yet, nothing you do seem comforting enough to banish your fears for the uncertain season you find yourself in. Beloved, I have come to conclude that hard times abound but not to God. Triumphing over hard times require practical measures and facing the facts just as they are. Remember, God isn’t interested in us surviving daily amidst the storms although that’s what most of us have resorted to. It is life-giver to take one day at a time. Nonetheless, it must not be done in anguish and dread of each new day.
Instead, we need to face each day from the point of victory knowing that our Savior has already overcome our struggles. Psalm 34:19 says many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from it all. Not one or some but ALL and that needs to be rejoiced over! We must, therefore, embrace this truth; irrespective of our current challenges, run to the name that’s able to deliver us from all afflictions and hard times. It is not easy forsaking all others and running to God, therefore, i.e. shutting all the voices in and around you and focusing on only God and His words. Proverbs 18:10 summarizes the hard truth - the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
There is no salvation anywhere but in the name of the Lord Most High, who in all His Holiness chose to condescend in our human form just to save us on the cross. Our ability to trust who we are running to is the first step to overcoming the hard times. God is not just a tower of refuge to us who trust Him; He is also our strength; help in time of need; support; our creator and redeemer; He possesses us, our life-giver etc. (Isaiah 41: 1-20; 43:1-5,10-21; Psalm 18:1-3,6).
If Jesus is all there is to you in this life, congrats on making the right decision. Stay glued to Him and trust in His word always. No matter how long it takes for Him to get to you, He will never fail you. He will rescue you. It took Him four days to get to Lazarus, but in the end, there was a resurrection. If you are still contemplating on whether to welcome this Jesus, I entreat you to make that single important move and your life will never be the same. Yes, it’s going to be hard, but whether you are in Christ or not, life is hard and hard times come to all. The only difference is that when Jesus is in the boat with you, you can smile at the storm no matter how strong the winds are. He is knocking, don’t wait too long to open.