Life isn't perfect.
I know your life hasn't been perfect, and I can tell you firsthand that my life hasn't been either. Still, I can tell you with boldness that my life has been blessed. One of the beautiful ways that God has blessed my life is by giving me times of trials and tests; by allowing me to suffer through situations that would make me better on the other side.
There are numerous people, situations, and circumstances that have made my life less than perfect. And yet, looking back, I wouldn't trade any person or thing that led me where I am today. I know, I know--that sounds like a cheesy Rascal Flatts song, but it's true. Everything I've been through thus far in my brief 24.5 year existence has gotten me here: married to the most amazing Christian man I've ever met, in a town that I have come to love, surrounded by God's people, working at a job that means something to me.
Presently, I am looking back down a road that was hard. Sure, I'm standing on a hilltop now, looking forward to the next way that God will teach me something that I'm in desperate need of learning. But the road behind me hasn't been an easy one. It's been filled with hurt, tears, bitterness, struggle, resentment, and all kinds of baggage that I simply had to leave along the way. Because, you see, there was no way I could be where I am now if I was still holding on to all of those heavy burdens.
That's the beauty of Jesus, isn't it? He takes away our burdens. He said, "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (Mt. 11:28-29)
Thanks be to God for His infinite grace and love and wisdom and mercy!
You see, once sin entered the world, life for the human race changed forever. No more would there be walking with God in the cool of the day. There would be no more perfection; at least, not until Jesus Christ came. And that's just it: even though His human race had spurned Him--defied Him--God still sent His Son. For that reason (and that reason alone) we can have hope. We can be joyful, despite living in such a sin-filled world. We can walk hard, long, trying roads and still come out on top on the other side, because Jesus gives us that way. Because He came, we can know that we have another chance at perfection. We can know that there is something greater out there for us. To attain that prize, though, we must endure (and react in a Christ-like way to) whatever is set before us on this earth. We must walk those hard roads. We must endure those trials. We must press on toward that goal.
And Jesus is the way.
Thanks be to God for His perfect gift of love. Thanks be to God for giving us a way of salvation; for giving us hope.
If I weren't a Christian, I would be so sad. If this ugly, tainted, sin-stained world was all there was--why would I want to get out of bed? Why would I want to do anything? Oh, but because of Jesus--because of His blood and the hope of heaven--I can be joyful despite my hardships. I can be joyful despite the ways people hurt me. I can walk those hard roads and be joyful along the way....because I know that one day I will live in perfection, so who cares if my life isn't perfect now. One day it will be. And because my life here is so hectic and hurtful and hard sometimes, that home in heaven above sounds that much sweeter.
Thank you, God, for giving me the opportunity to go through trials. Thank you for giving me more reason to long for heaven, as if being with You weren't enough.