By Joan Clayton: PNT columnist
Someone has said, “If you never wanted to be hurt, move to a desert island and be a hermit.” Maybe you would never be hurt, but think of the loneliness. Missing the joy and ecstasy of love would make life meaningless.
Life is not always easy. Problems and trials do occur. It’s not easy to sit by a sick loved one, to have low finances with bills coming in, or to have misunderstandings with others. Many difficulties rob peace. Yet hope springs eternal. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3). This scripture gives the antidote to worry, especially in the wee hours when sleep evades. Think of it. The Creator of the universe has made provision for our peace, even in the midst of adversity.
It’s all about peace and hope. The Lord has also said in John 14:37, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
This implies some action on our part, and that action is to “trust.” A trust that is unshakable and unmoveable, with mountain moving faith.
Corrie Ten Boom, a giant woman of faith, spent many years in a German concentration camp with enormous horrific circumstances. Yet she has been quoted as saying, “There is no darkness that Satan can create that can shut the love of God out for you and me. No pit is so deep that God is deeper still.”
We don’t always understand why things happen, but if we did, would we need any faith? God is moved by faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
It takes real faith and courage to face difficulties in life. I look into the faces of some of the older beautiful saints at church and I see Jesus in them. I have seen pain in aging bodies and I have seen deep sorrow in the loss of loved ones. Yet they keep pressing on “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
I cried with my uncle when we had to put my last aunt in a rest home. He took loving care of her as long as he could. His knees finally confined him to a walker and wheelchair. Imagine the courage it took for him to go back home without her. The house, with all its memories, seemed so empty, but Uncle Steve’s faith carried him through. His faith remained and his cheerful attitude sustained him. He never complained or grumbled about his situation in life but rather lived by faith. He carried a little paper in his Bible that said, “It’s not easy to begin over, to admit error, to be unselfish, to keep on trying, to be considerate, to forgive and forget, to profit by mistakes, to think first and then act … But it always pays!
Uncle Steve had rather walk by faith in the dark with Jesus than to walk without Jesus in the light.
Yes, life is not always easy, but you and I “can do all things through Christ which strengthens” us (Philippians 4:13).
When Jesus was hanging on that cruel cross of Calvary, life wasn’t easy. His sacrifice wasn’t looking for the easy way out. That dear friends, is love. The greatest love this world has ever known, and it didn’t come easy.
Joan Clayton is a retired teacher, writer and religion columnist living in Portales. E-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org