We have such a tendency toward “selective hearing.” Even when God warns that life can be hard, we don’t want to hear it! We want the promises, but without the challenges. In the midst of them, we often forget God’s goodness, and think only about our discomfort. God is THE LORD! He can be counted on to take us through life’s pain as a gentle, faithful and true Father. He is both great and good.
Lord, life is hard. Many days I feel like I am just making bricks. Work can be drudgery. The tasks stretch on and life feels like a thousand chores strung together, one after the other, then the bottom drops out and it is all I can do to continue. As I perform daily tasks in the midst of grief, hurt, and pain, the work feels impossible, as if I am trying to make bricks without straw.
In the midst of life, in the mundane and difficult times, my temptation is to turn an accusing fist at you. I thought life would be easier! My marriage was supposed to be a perpetual honeymoon. I didn’t plan for my kids to be less than perfect. I trusted that friend, Lord, and she betrayed me. I am trying to live out the gospel in this hard place, but it keeps getting tougher.
Oh Lord, let me turn my fist, my questions that are really accusations, into open hands lifted to you. Remind me that afflictions, both momentary and life-altering, are part of your plan. Just as you worked through suffering to deliver the Israelites, you will use times of difficulty to sanctify me. Help me to see the big picture. You have promised deliverance and, in Christ, it is already accomplished. Thank you that I am not a slave, Lord, but a cherished child of the King!
Then the LORD said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey…’ (Exodus 3: 7-9).