“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” — Westley/Man in Black, “The Princess Bride”
Every morning we somehow manage to pull ourselves out of bed for yet another day of strain and pain. Seems nearly everyone has some type of wet blanket over them these days, be it emotional, physical, mental, financial, spiritual or a combination.
Some days, life is like trying to run a marathon in quicksand, don’t you think?
Do you feel the heaviness of the times?
Man, I know I do. Even being at a good point in my life, with my job, my family and my faith, it still feels like I’m slogging through a field of muck.
Just so you know, I’m very happy with my life. In my attempt to detail my struggles with pain, fatigue and depression, I hope I don’t give the impression that every day is shrouded in misery. I’m delighted with my station in life, to be certain. I have many bright days. Life is truly amazing and beautiful, and I find something new to marvel at nearly every day.
Yet, I see mental, emotional, physical and spiritual exhaustion everywhere, on the faces of kinfolk and colleagues alike. Those who once exploded with life are dog-tired. Bright eyes and smiles fade into lethargy.
On the flipside of that coin, I have family and friends who have survived unspeakable tragedy, and still manage to squeeze joy out of their existence. I am close to those who have endured the death of children and spouses, yet still manage to find a reason to get up in the morning.
Nothing can stop them. I admire that type of grit, and try and surround myself with those who refuse to abandon hope.
They’ll tell ya: life, in all its tragedy and glory, is what you make it.
But the fatigue is still there. Weariness masks the faces of the masses.
Pastors are worn out. Teachers are burned out. Cops are run down.
Yeah, I get it.
But in these ominous times, I beg you…
Don’t give up.
Follow the examples of my friends Mike and Tammy, and my cousins Rick and Lisa, who have not only braved the despair of losing their sons, but have reached out to others who have suffered the same horror. Their light and life are proof to others that grief and pain don’t have to destroy you.
Or look to my Uncle Kenny for inspiration. We were told years ago that he was in stage four cancer and would not survive much longer. Yet, he’s still here. You can’t keep a good man down!
Then there is my mother-in-law, Linda. The family was told right before this past Christmas she was more than likely in her last few hours, and to come see her NOW if we wanted to say “goodbye.”
However, not only did she survive the holidays, she’s actually getting better, and has decided to stick around a while, see what life brings.
My sister Netty and my good friend Christy both survived unspeakable terrors with abusive husbands, yet both have lived to find their smile. Both have a house full of loved ones who depend on them, and they get up every morning and bring joy to those around them.
The only way your life-light can be extinguished is if you LET it!
We are not meant to give up. Give out? Certainly. Run down? Most definitely. But give up?
Check out what David said in the Psalms, and see if you can relate:
“I’m so broken, needy and hurting. My heart is pierced through and I’m so wounded. I’m slipping down a dark slope, shaken to the core, and helpless. I’m the example of failure and shame to all who see me. They just walk by me, shaking their heads. You have to help me, O Lord God! My true hero, come to my rescue and save me, for you are loving and kind. I will give my thanks to you over and over and everyone will hear my lavish praises. For (You) always stand in support of the afflicted and needy to rescue their souls from those who judge and condemn them. (Psalm 109:22-23, 25-26, 30-31)”
I know many do not believe, but in these challenging times, I’d like to state emphatically that I look to Christ for help and hope. God is the sole reason I’m still alive and kicking, honestly. He saved my life when I tried to kill myself (https://brokenpeople.blog/2016/12/22/my-suicide-part-1/). I’ve felt the Lord’s presence too many times to count, and nothing will ever convince me He’s not real.
I’ve watched as He provided comfort and healing to a multitude of friends and family. I’ve witnessed those closest to me travel from heartbreak to happiness time and again, solely by resting in the shadow of His wing.
“Like a bird protecting its young, God will cover you with His feathers, will protect you under His great wings; His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you. (Psalm 91:4)”
HE’S the One who mends broken hearts. GOD is the One who gets me through the day.
Are we drained? Yes. Discouraged? Some days. Defeated?
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”
Circumstances might’ve steamrolled right over you, leaving you a heaping pile of goo, but you’re still alive, right? So take a breath, close your eyes, whisper a prayer and trudge on.
Death might’ve ripped loved ones from your grasp, but YOU are still here.
So take a breath, close your eyes, whisper a prayer and trudge on.
You can make it, I know you can.
Never give up, never give in, never surrender!
“I will invite the poor and broken, and they will come and eat until satisfied. Bring Yahweh praise and you will find him. Your hearts will overflow with life forever! (Psalm 22:26)”