Why is life so hard? Anytime you want to achieve a goal, it feels like a battle for every square inch. Relationships are hard, work is hard, getting out of the “rat race” is hard. Walking in our God-decreed, the purposed-before-hand plan is a daily battle.
I don’t get it. But either way, James says to rejoice in our trials.
Most of the time, trials are discouraging but not devastating. I can find something to be thankful for and then move forward. I don’t stew over it or go in the bathroom and cry a river.
Then there are days when the river of tears is overflowing its banks – if you get my drift. Usually accompanied by an Oscar-worthy pity party or tantrum of “Whhhyyyy is this so hard, God?!”
What is most annoying are my meltdowns are usually caused by some minor irritation. Like a bur under a saddle, the little things seem to get under my skin the most. Maybe because it catches me off guard or I think, “really?!”, and then the downward spiral begins.
BEING FULL OF JOY DOESN’T MEAN THE SUN IS ALWAYS SHINING
Yea, what this says. ⬆️
Though I am on a journey to joy, the sun does not always shine on me. In fact, I feel like it rarely does. Life is one challenge after another, but my goal is to have the “peace that passes all understanding”, and to discover what “the joy of the Lord is my strength” means. (Seriously. We hang this saying on our walls but do we know what this means?)
So, how do I find joy when my heart is broken or I’m disappointed?
I don’t have the whole answer, but I do know this: sometimes God doesn’t give me an answer – He just loves on me.
A KISS FROM GOD
I can think of several times in my life when I was so discouraged, scared, hopeless. I didn’t receive solutions or answers or even any words of direction. But what I did receive was a kiss from the Father (and in one case, a literal bear hug).
What is a kiss from God? It’s when something happens that is special only to you, but it touches your heart and has personal meaning. I believe He hands them out all the time, but I wonder how much we notice it.
My personal experience has been that I receive a “kiss” during particularly low times emotionally.
Once, a stranger walked into my place of work, handed me a rose, told me I was beautiful and walked out. I had never seen him before nor did I ever see him again. It was the night of my senior prom. No one had asked me to go and when I tried to get together a group of other girls to go on our own, I was left out of that as well. Oh, they went, but I was excluded. My heart was broken and I made sure I was scheduled to work so I wouldn’t be wallowing in tears all night.
Another time when I was struggling with feeling rejected, a girl came running out of a store I had just been in. She handed me a heart-shaped sucker and said a young man inside wanted her to give it to me and tell me he thought I was beautiful. (Awwww)
Notes from strangers, a feather dropping out of the clear sky at my feet, a hug in the middle of the night when no one was in the room, a specific word from a stranger that they could not have known would mean anything to me, or feeling someone sitting down at the foot of my bed when I was struggling with inner battles. All of these moments were little ways that God, as a good Father, revealed to me that He loves me. I felt seen, heard, and loved.
Even today, I was especially struggling emotionally and my prayers were filled with tears. I read James 1 and was trying hard to be thankful for past pain and sorrows that were weighing on me. Then suddenly my phone vibrates and I see a message from someone on a social media network. I had been casually chatting, through direct messaging, over the course of a day or two with what I thought were staff members of a well-known minister that speaks throughout the world.
I would LOVE to meet this person as I have learned so much and been so encouraged by their teachings. But popular teachers have crowds of people around them and I never gave thought to the possibility of meeting them or talking to them. To my surprise, I discovered that my conversation had been directly with this minister of the gospel.
At that realization, I broke down in floods of tears of joy. It may not be a big deal to you, but God knew that I would find such an encounter very special. I literally spend hours listening to their teachings. So God, my Father, allowed me to be found by this person (they liked my profile and I followed back), have a brief conversation, and be encouraged by them.
HE LIKES TO SEE YOU SMILE
It was short, nothing earth-shattering, but it was a kiss from my Father because He knew I’d appreciate it – especially at that particular moment of sadness. It’s like your parents picking you up from school and handing you your favorite candy bar – for no reason at all other than they love you and like to see you smile.
Isn’t God good?!
Can you think of times when something simple, yet personally touching, happened to you? Perhaps it was a kiss from your good Father to let you know that He sees you and loves you very much!