Because today is election day I should probably be writing something related politics, but to be honest, I’m sick of politics. What is truly weighing on my heart are the challenges people living everyday lives are facing. The brokenness, the decisions, and the uncertainty that you and I and those we love are facing can be overwhelming at times.
Recently, a young woman I care about lost her husband, the father of her children, her best friend to cancer. Before I can complete this blog, another friend has been diagnosed. Many families are struggling with the rising costs of raising children. Whether it is health insurance, sports, quality childcare, tutoring, or lessons, we want to meet our children’s needs and give them opportunities to grow. There is the competition of social media, thanks to the folks who use it as a platform to convince themselves and others that their life is perfect. I’m amazed by the number of parents that I come in contact with who are struggling with huge issues raising their kiddos. Attachment issues, learning disabilities, drug problems, medical and mental health issues, special needs, and so many other concerns touch many families, consuming their lives. Households face the demands of full-time employment while raising children or grandchildren or caring for aging parents. There is divorce and marital problems happening between couples you might least suspect. And, on top of it all, we live in a society where overbooking our calendars, comparing ourselves to others, and striving for perfection is the norm.
Friends, the world seems terribly harsh right now and I don’t think I am alone in my feelings. Like a hamster running on a wheel, sometimes I find myself in that circular pattern getting tired but going nowhere. Day in, day out I can easily become consumed by the trials of life. Without my faith, I would certainly find myself in the fetal position on the floor of my closet. And because of that faith I cannot help but wonder what God expects of us as His people.
Obviously, death will happen, struggles and tragedy will come and during those times it is our relationship with Christ that sees us through, often deepening our faith (“because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:3). Loss and illness are also opportunities for our earthly relationships to grow, whether we are giving or receiving support, but what about less obvious things? What about our everyday lives? How good of a job are we doing being transparent with our own feelings or letting those around us be transparent with theirs? God never intended for us to live life alone or handle everything on our own. How good are we at focusing on relationship, with Christ, with others, and with ourselves?
As God’s people, we are in this life together. May we be challenged to live authentically, holding each other up? It is time to step off the hamster wheel y’all!