SOMETIMES, no matter what we try, and despite what we wish life would be, life is just very, very hard. There are two options in our outlook: 1) to whistle away as if it was not happening, or 2) acknowledge that it is happening.
It seems wise to go the first way, but that way, though it seems easier, is not easier in the longer run. But to contemplate the second way is also not only a barren contemplation, it requires energy and takes us into the realm of pain.
Neither option avails itself to us as an option. We would avoid the one and the other! But life does not present us with such a luxury. Indeed, we can only run for so long in any event.
Let’s look at some important truths before we go any further. These might help:
1. Most hard things as they start out don’t end up being as hard as we thought they initially were.
2. If we just focus on what is present in front of us, in the actual day, hour or moment, what is hard is made manageable, palatable; achievable.
3. When we are able to share the anguish in the journey, particularly with mature persons, our anxiety is reduced, because our perspective is increased.
4. What is important now probably won’t be as important in two months’ time.
5. Look at what has been endured — a tremendous amount. This situation, also, will be endured.
6. Sometimes, actually most of the time, if our hardship surrounds tasks we are blessed just to start and keep going.
When we can say that life is just very, very hard we might also say that it lasts just a limited period of time; a short season. But some are called to very hard lives, where the struggle lasts and lasts. It is not just quaint to hold onto the heavenly hope. It only appears to be quaint when we can only see this world’s perspective. This life is short and heaven is long. To ponder ‘home’ may be the most reasonable thing anyone can do.
Perspective is a sliding scale. As perspective is increased, anxiety is decreased. As we step away from the bubbling cauldron of our lives, we step toward the cool change of peace.
Departing from the frenetic nature of life, even just for an hour, helps us restore vital balance.
And yet, sometimes life is just hard. Sometimes no amount of ‘perspective’ helps. Know that God knows. Know that his empathy is felt by you in ways you need, in ways you can receive healing, in ways that are personal and unique.
When life is just very, very hard, take heart not to grow hard.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.