I think that one of the hardest and yet, simplest thing to do is to tell the truth. It’s difficult because with honesty comes a great deal of vulnerability. This, in turn, means that you put yourself in a position of possible hurt.
However, vulnerability often invites those that are hurting in. It is the door that allows a friend to walk right into your pain and say, “I’m hurting too or I’m going through the same thing.”
Inadvertently, honesty comes with a great sense of relief and freedom. I like to think of it as being underwater. Pain licks at your chest as your lungs burn. Your hands desperately claw for the surface, but a weight keeps pulling you down. It’s uncomfortable and scary.
Yet, telling the truth is like when you reach the surface and gasp for air, filling your lungs with oxygen and easing the pain within them. The relief that comes with it is so great that you probably never want to go near another water body, let alone stick a toe in it. Or in this case, you never want to avoid/delay telling the truth again.
As Christians, we need to confront the truth. Being a Christian doesn’t qualify us to a life of peace and tranquility with no troubles at all. The story of Job is evident enough.
Job 1:8: The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.
Job was a God fearing man but that didn’t stop trials and tribulations from rocking the very foundation of his life. He lost all his livestock and children in one breath, and he didn’t even once think to blame God. Instead, he lamented;
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)
But his troubles had just begun. Later, he got struck with boils that covered his entire body, prompting the wife to say,
“Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9)
As if that wasn’t enough, his friends come and blamed him for his misfortunes.
To all these, Job replied,
“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”. Job 13:15:
Incredible, isn’t it?
Let’s confront the elephant in the room – the uncomfortable question that’s been hanging over our heads the minute I mentioned Job and his unfailing faith in God. What do we do when we go through hard and unexpected seasons? How do we draw nearer to God during our wilderness seasons?
The Wilderness Season
The wilderness season is when a storm hits your life and rocks your boat so hard that you nearly topple over. Some of us often end up getting tossed overboard. During this time, most of us tend to doubt God’s love for us, dwindling our faith significantly. The hardships then drive a wedge between us and God.
During and after Job’s trails and hardships, he was found faithful. I’m heavily convicted by this, because during my wilderness seasons, I seldom react as Job did. In all honesty, I often jut my chin out and pout like a little child that was denied an extra piece of cake.
Looking back, however; unexpected hardships have been for my good, regardless of how I handled it. God often uses hard times to draw us closer to Him or to teach us something.
So, how should we respond during such seasons? Job shows us how in
Job 1:20: ‘Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped’
Job responded by worshipping God!
We ought to do the same; because in such seasons, we need spiritual nourishment and strengthening even more. We need His guidance, lest we act upon our emotional whims and impulses, and live to regret it.
When we turn our backs on God during our hard times, it’s like telling God that we only love Him during the good times. Or when we turn our backs on God during the good times, but run back to Him during the hard times, it’s like saying that we only need him when we’re in trouble. I’m not innocent of the aforementioned actions, but God is working on me.
God doesn’t just want a piece of us, He wants all of us. He loves us in a way that we couldn’t possibly fathom even if we tried. I pray that His love for me (us) will keep drawing us closer or back to His loving arms, both in our good
and in our bad times. I pray that even when we doubt His presence and love for us due to our circumstances, that we will hold on to what we know is true: He is faithful.
Whew! Now that the truth is out, we can all relax! Yes, Christians do and will go through hard times. Sometimes, God uses them as an instrument of discipline, but sometimes He uses them to draw us closer to Him. He also uses such times to help us place less value on material things or vain pursuits.
So, if and when you’re going through a hard time, don’t always chalk it up as an indication that you have sinned greatly.
Regardless, always run to God. No matter how you feel, always run to God.
Job 19:25: “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”