I wish I could claim that I had at least part of Job’s righteousness, but I do not. I wish I could call out to God and say, “God answer me for I have done no wrong,” but I cannot. However, when given the advice to curse God and die, I cannot.
What I can do is make the same statement as Job, “O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God.” (Job 19:23-26 NRS)
The last three years of my life have seen tragedy after tragedy, injustice after injustice, and the schemes of egotist human beings, it has been hard, and it hurts. (Oh, pity poor me, not)
What hurts more though is how I have relational connections, I would hope I could count on, turn on me faster than a top can spin. But again, God never said this life would be easy. The task I face is how to handle the difficult and hard without losing my faith nor compromising who I am.
In the Apostle’s Creed I pray, “I believe in the catholic (universal) Church. I am true to this statement. However, I do not believe in the denominational structures that human beings have created that, I my opinion, exist only for themselves. When faced with a wrong they would rather rally the wagons than do what is right. The church today causes as much pain as it alleviates.
Some of us, through our choices, situations, circumstances, and a spiritual war we cannot even see, carry an enormous amount of suffering, pain, and despair. Some of us spend more time crying than laughing. Some of us must work very hard to just smile even occasionally. Some of us (like me) curse the day we were born and long for death. So how, how can we possibly, honestly say, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess. 5:16-18 NRS) This is the challenge those of us who carry so many negative burdens face. How can one with such a consciousness cope?
In my life, how I have coped is understanding I am going to likely always be on an emotional rollercoaster. I must go through the pain of mind and memory seeking a place in which I can catch my spiritual breath for just a second in order to refocus my thinking on my Lord, Jesus. Jesus who said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30 NRS)
When I find this opportunity this moment, I then can use the tools the Lord has offered in Scripture and prayer and the disciplines discovered by the Church (the universal church) developed by the faithful through its history. This seems to be the only way I can have even brief moments of relief. This is where I find Jesus’s words to be true.
I believe, no, more than believe the promise of my Lord, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(Matt. 28:20 NRS) This means that all I am going through, the Lord is enduring with me. This promise is my ultimate reset button I must push when life gets to be just too much to bear. Without such a promise there is no way I could continue to live.