When Life Is Hard

Smelling the roses 1/365 days

Image by Liam Wilde via Flickr

I’m finished with chapter five of One Thousand Gifts.

It was a difficult chapter.

Painful, even.

It hurts, when faced with the reality that life will never be easy. Not for me. Not for you. No one will get out of this life without struggle. Will I be thankful for what my life holds for me? Even when things aren’t going as I planned? As I had hoped?  Even when I sit at the bedside of a loved one who is dying? Even when I hear the doctor’s voice explain the diagnosis? When my child is sick? Or run away? Will I be thankful for all that God has done for me when I get the bad news? When my husband loses his job? When people hurt me with their words? When I feel robbed of happiness? Will..I…be…thankful….then?

I realize that some of you reading this might be thinking, “Well, she is a real bummer. Where are her funny blogs? I like her sense of humor. This stuff is depressing.” To those of you I reply with this….I do love to laugh. I enjoy telling a funny story.  Life is a joy. There are some times when the deeper things of life need precedence. When I need to think deeply. This is one of those days.I hope you will read my blog post with your eyes wide open.

On pages 84 and 85 I read the words that slammed through me like a deadly, powerful wind. My breath caught in my throat.

Ann Voskamp writes, “What will I lose? Health? Comfort? Hope? Eventually, I am guaranteed to lose every thing I have possessed. When will I lose? Today? How  much time do I have before the next loss? Who will I lose? And that’s definite. I will lose every single person I have ever loved. Either abruptly or eventually. All human relationships end in loss. Am I prepared for that?”

Tears stained my cheeks with wet. My breath was ragged while reading her words. Because…..I know they are true. A sob escapes my throat. So true.

Will I be prepared for the hard eucharisteo when that time comes? If I am learning the discipline of thanking God in all things now…daily writing down all the ways that God says ‘yes’ to me, all the proofs of His love, will I be ready to thank Him through the hard times? God is good today. God will be good tomorrow. God will be good for all the days after that. He does not change. If I love Him today when things are well for me, should I not love Him tomorrow, even when the news might change?

It is not an easy thing.

It is not easy when my heart bleeds. When my hopes are dashed. When my world is torn apart. When pain is so great. When I scream “the why’s” at Heaven.

God is good.

He is good.

He loves me.

He shows me His love daily. I am listing His thousand gifts to me….and when I get to the end of my list, I will list a thousand more. His love is eternal. On days when life is hard, I can look at my list and be amazed at each moment I recorded. He showers me with the moments.

On page 91 Ann states, “Without God’s Word as a lens, the world warps.”  (Matt. 6:22-23)  Yes. Yes. Yes!  Page 94..”When I realize that it is not God who is in my debt but I who am in His great debt, then doesn’t all become a gift?

One act of thanksgiving, when things go wrong with us, is worth a thousand thanks when things are agreeable to our inclinations.”

Saint John of Avila.

6 thoughts on “When Life Is Hard

  1. Yes, Yes, Yes, Life is so very hard and we have to fight for the joy that life tries to rob us of daily. I found three very compassionate people yesterday…in my moment of sadness God lifted me up…when I has almost lost hope..gentle words showed me the way…thank the Lord for his abundant blesses he lavished on me.

  2. I am looking forward to reading this book 🙂 I often have felt the closest to God when I was at my lowest giving thanks . But when you come out of the pit and look back I am not always sure I pleased God with my actions… I may have not been encouraging to someone else, or let them know the reason for my quiet , odd behavior was because I felt like my life circumstances were a bit out of control… not God’s but mine. That meant fear… and with that withdrawal … It’s so often easy to look back and find mistakes, but it is so hard to prepare for that next event you don’t want to happen. 🙂 Very thought provoking.

  3. I have been wanting to read Ann’s book. I definitely will now! Your post also reminded me of pastor James MacDonald’s book Always True: God’s 5 Promises for When Life Is Hard. It’s such as awesome book about the power and certainty we have when we trust God’s “always true” promises. Thanks for the reminder here, too.

  4. Pingback: Hard Thanks… « It Just Dawned On Me

  5. Thank you for that. I struggled greatly through chapter 5, -& I’m so curious to know others’ take on it. Beautiful!
    I think when I’m done with the book I will start it all over again. -so much to take in!

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