I’m going to get right into it. Its taken me this long to get the courage to talk about this…
For as long as I can remember my biggest problem with the world, with my life was that things were not easy. I started having ungodly thoughts (as Mom would put it) from a very young age, they mainly involved wanting to be non existent… I guess death wasn’t something I could fully comprehend so I just wanted, wished rather, to not exist. These progressed to being suicidal thoughts and I have been so close to attempting suicide 4 time in my life.
In the interest of full disclosure, the last time I really struggled with suicidal thoughts was nearly 13 months ago, it took me a whole 10 hours to drive what should have been 5 hours just to get home. It took praying, worship and on the phone prayers an conversations from one of my spiritual guides. I had to stop that many times and I had to drive that slow because high speeds and a motorway full of trucks just seemed like an easy way out. I could feel the battle, the friction between life and death so strongly inside of me… just because it was all too hard.
As a child I remember having such a beautiful relationship with God, things were not perfect, but I was content. Despite my circumstances I knew everything was going to be okay. You might read that and think I had faith and had it all figured out, but that was just a childish view of the world….
Soon enough problems began, and what seemed like faith started to look more like expectations and when the “world” did not meet my expectation, I lost all hope.
I think, as Christians we fall into this trap of selling Christianity as this magic cure to life, that once you are a Christian things will be all hunky dory, there will be no struggle and best of all God will give you all the desires of your heart. And don’t even get me started on miracles…
I know I’m not the only one who has ever believed that as a Christian I’m somehow supposed to be exempt from hardship, that if I ever experience any such trials then it must mean I have done something wrong to be deserving of it. This has been going on for years, and if you want evidence to this start with the book of Job and work your way to the many pastors who have denounced their faith…because it just didn’t live up to expectation.
In my life and Journey with Christ, I struggled the most with reading Psalms, it always confused me. It is such a roller coaster of despair, praise, adoration, and despair again. The Psalmist is in and out of terrifying situations and he is in one breadth angry with God and in the next praising him for victory.
I don’t believe there is any better depiction of what a Christian life is like. Even Christ himself experienced the mixture of humble pleading and quite trust in God.( Matthew 26:36-46). The struggle between easy and right, what I want and God’s will.
As I begin to understand this more and more, I realise that what I had as a child wasn’t so much contentment nor an easy life but Peace. And peace is what seems to be missing in the book of Psalms. Peace is what we need more than anything in this world, the kind of peace that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had, Peace that The God we serve is able to deliver us, he will deliver us and even if he doesn’t he is still Lord.
James tells us to count it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because the testing of our faith produces perseverance and to let perseverance finish its work so that we may be mature and complete lacking nothing.
The Passion Translation puts it like this;
My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as pure joy that you can. For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and lacking.
We can debunk the myth and clear out the lie, trials will come. The Bible doesn’t say maybe, if or perhaps, it says when. Life isn’t going to be easy, and there will be trials temptations and storms.
It takes faith to go through difficulties in life, but before we even get to needing faith, it takes Godly wisdom and understanding to know that the goal has never been to live an easy life, the goal has never been to strive for joy and happiness, it is first and foremost to obtain the peace of God, that surpasses all human understanding, and to get the desires of your heart according to his will. His Will be done
….and understanding the difference between Childish expectations and mature faith.
when I was a child I spoke about childish matters, for I saw things like a child. But the day came when I matured, and I set aside my childish ways.