Faithfulness is a hard topic for me. I haven’t thought about it very much, and when I do, it’s often been tough. I have a chronic illness, so while God has been faithful to me in the little things, I have often wondered where God is when it comes to the big things. What are the big things? Illness. Pain. Struggles. Grief.
I’ve experienced grief quite a bit in the past six months. In July of 2014 I lost my grandmother, who was extremely important to me. Mid-February of this year, I lost another extended family member who was very grandmotherly to me and those around me. While both of them are in heaven, the world has lost out big time. And suffering losses so close to each other is obviously more than a bit painful.
In the face of this, it’s hard to understand how God could be faithful to me. While I don’t understand why painful things happen, and I don’t know that I ever will, I do know one thing. I believe in a Jesus who builds people up, not One Who shatters them. While the world has broken them, Jesus came to heal them, to rebuild what they have lost.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
— Isaiah 61:1-3
Although this is not the intent, sometimes religion can make my burden heavier, not easier. All the do’s and don’t’s aren’t helpful to anyone. Sometimes, I get fed up with the heavy burden that Christianity has become. But then I consider the real heart of the matter. And I remember a man called Jesus who walked the earth offering love to anyone who needed it. Even more than that, His love was not fickle, it was faithful. He stuck by the side of the people who needed Him most. Jesus may not walk the earth anymore, but the principle of His faithfulness still stands. How could it be any different today? He will not abandon you. He will not abandon any of us. To me, that’s pretty powerful–not only that, but extremely necessary due to the sometimes-difficult nature of life on this spinning planet.
I don’t believe that Jesus came to make life harder, but to make it easier. Things happen in life that we can’t control, that wound us. But God is there to bandage up our wounds, to hold us, to take us in when everyone else has kicked us out. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:38-39). Remember the story of the lost sheep? Jesus left the 99 to go find the one. That’s faithfulness.
Life in this world is not easy. As it is said in The Princess Bride, one of my favorite movies, “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” It is hard, it is painful. People will leave, things will happen, life will be absolute crap sometimes. That’s a fact. Living is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. But please remember, whatever life throws your way, that you are never too broken to count as His. He will never stop loving you, and He will be with you, always. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:20.
I haven’t often thought about what faithfulness is, but I think I know: it’s a God that lifts your head when you are unable to lift it yourself. And when that happens, somehow, this life thing doesn’t seem so hard anymore.
(Note: The verses I referenced in this post have brought great comfort to me. I hope they do the same for you.)
Grafted Readers! Unfortunately, this will be my last post indefinitely, as I need to focus on schoolwork and obligations in my personal life. Writing for you has been a pleasure and I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity. Thank you so much for reading! May peace be with you.