There are days that are uphill climbs. Other days there are hair pin turns and full out stops. This life is a roller coaster!
I’m a huge fan of amusement parks. Growing up, I’d beg my parents to take us to one that’s just an hour away from home. I loved the energy of the place, the excitement and shrieks of laughter and shock as rides dipped and whirled people round and round.
I’m not a huge fan of going upside down or spinning in fast circles, but I’ve been known to spend hours on the wooden coasters, that clink as you climb to the top of the hill just before it lets you loose careening down the other side. I’ve also been known to get off the ride and run back to the line to ride it again.
But lately, I’ve wanted off the ride I’ve been on. One that I feel strapped tight to. One where I don’t plan to rush to the front of the line again.
Singleness is the cross that I have been bearing for nearly five years. Part of it is by choice and other is just the lack of single Christian men in my area. It’s taken time, lots of it, for me to get to a point where I felt confident in my journey alone. It’s taken prayer and a lot of encouragement from friends and family, as well as words from authors like Mandy Hale, to help me see my worth as a single woman.
But it took one man, a Christian man at that, to bring me to a point where I had to face my God even though I desperately wanted to turn the other way and try to find satisfaction for what my heart (and my flesh) desires.
Life as a Christian is hard. It’s full of struggles and it’s not always a lot of fun. Sure it would be easy to just walk away and say, “Forget it, things are easier without the restraints upon me”, but the hard truth is, the restraints that I feel are really the pull of Satan upon my soul, not chains binding me to God.
Annie’s words in Hold On, though I read them months before starting this study, have really hit home for me today. The inclusion of the verses from 2 Corinthians, especially in the translation from The Message ring so loudly, that I’m so happy to say that Satan’s whispers are finally being drowned out.
Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don’t maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don’t twist God’s Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God…
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, 16-18 (The Message)
So even though it would be really easy to let go and allow the earthly desires of my heart to reign in my life, is it worth the pain and suffering I’ll feel in knowing (head and heart knowledge) that I’ve settled for less than the best that God is waiting to give me?
There are struggles in this life, with decisions that weigh on us heavily. There are times of suffering and times of frustration with our current situation. There are times that we want to lash out because our will is not being satisfied. But if we just HOLD ON and trust in what God has in store, we will see that these struggles, times of suffering, and outpouring of tears are but a drop in the bucket for the amount of joy that is sure to come.
Hold on my friend. Help is on the way! And His name is Jesus.