“The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.”
— Psalm 23:1 (NRSV)
God is the only Rest there is. When we seek him in our shadowy valleys—the darkest places of pitch dark—there we will find him.
Yet we rest, or hope to, in many mirages of hope—shimmering delights promising so much, yet delivering actually very little. We go to materiality, scripted reality, and absurd moralities; all in the desire of escaping the pain inherent in the struggles we must bear.
The secret is, we must bear them, but never alone.
God is that rest for which we go to; that for which we rarely go. We have a way through but we hardly ever use it, because we are looking for a way out. There is no way out; only through.
The Way Through – Not the Way Out
Enduring our struggles, achieving our rest, surviving the emotive distress that quivers through our being, is about setting our focus on the way through, not the way out.
We want out, but the real way out is through, however frightening and fatiguing that seems.
Through faith in God, which is a very practical thing of trusting with every sinew of humility we can draw upon, we can persist. But only for a moment. It is fortunate that God has designed life in such a way that we can only live one moment at a time. One moment of courage precedes the next, and so on. Such courage ignites faith, which presents as real hope.
It’s all we need to do.
The key to enduring hardship and despairing calamities is to go through them with God, not to seek a way out. Taking a way out to avoid the pain is, therefore, avoiding God. The pain is there in any event; we can’t change the circumstances that present themselves in our lives right now.
So why do we do it without God?
Faith is the only real choice we have, but praise God we have a choice!
Why do we insist on finding a way out, when only finding the way through—a moment at a time—will get us anywhere near close to being delivered from this anguish?
The secret to enduring the struggles of life is finding God for our way through them, rather than seeking to find a way of escape. The only way out of the struggles of life is through, and only with God can we make it through. God’s the only Rest there is.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.