Oh, my friends.
I want to make something perfectly clear. On a few different levels.
The Christian life is far from perfect.
Often, it’s far from pretty. It’s far from aesthetic. It’s far from comfortable. It doesn’t really flow. It’s rather choppy and jagged. Yes, it’s beautiful at moments yet painful and hesitant and confused at others.
And that’s okay.
My friend there is no shame in living a real life.
There is no need to hide the rawness of your life, to mask it, to hide it.
Our lives don’t become perfect, plastic, Barbie lives when we meet Jesus. And it’s hurting the world and hurting new Christian hearts when we make it look like so.
I think that the beauty of a life with Jesus is that there’s a hope, a joy, a faith that burns brightly during the pain, during the hardship and confusion and despair.
That’s what we need to be telling this world; that’s what we need to be telling precious new Christian hearts.
Jesus’ love and grace and strength goes deeper than the sorrows of this life.
But to tell them this…. we can’t hide the sorrows.
I think that we often get caught up in an “Instagram view” of life. We see and reveal and talk about only the picture perfect, aesthetic, glorious moments. My friend, I don’t think there is anything wrong with highlighting those moments, because they often show the goodness and the sweetness of God.
But, may we never create a front as though our life is perfect.
I’ve been reading Paul’s gripping and raw words to the Corinthians. He talks about how God comforts us in our afflictions so that we can comfort others.
My sister…. Listen to that:
God comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort others in troubles.
We have a job to go to the brokenhearted and let them know they are not alone, that they are not the only ones hurting right now, that they are loved and understood and known.
Paul goes on to write, “If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.” (2 Corinthians 1:6)
We suffer to comfort. We are comforted to comfort.
We must be real with the world.
Paul writes the Corinthians, saying that he wants them to be aware of the affliction that he experienced.
“For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9)
He revealed the grit. The pain. The hardship. The brokenness. The rock-bottom moment.
And then revealed God in it.
It’s glorious to God when we show great things in life and praise Him.
But my friend, don’t stop there.
Show the gritty things, and show God there, too.
Let me tell you, the life without is not always wonderful and beautiful and glorious.
If my testimony tells anything, it’s that more so it’s ruled by hardship.
And those people need to hear that there’s hope in hardship.
They need to hear that there’s a joy even in sorrows.
They need to hear that there’s a God who loves them to death.
I understand that your struggles are a hard thing to talk about. They bring up deeply scarred parts of your heart and bad memories and rock bottom moments.
But the grace surrounding your heart is strong enough to endure those split-second flashbacks and memories and gut-wrenching feelings. Grace can take it.
People are dying to hear of the hope you have found.
And your God is going to look down at His brave daughter and be so proud.
So, my friend, may we love the world enough to reveal our dirt.
May we love lost and hurting hearts enough to reveal the grace that carries our own.
May we trust that grace is endlessly being lavished on every part of our lives, and that very grace is strong enough to keep our hearts in the perfect peace and blazing hope.
With much, much love. And my heart revealed to not only God, but to the world also. –Melissa
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