Right now, I’m at a very low place in my life. Five adults living in one house with nearly no income, three of us in particular (all the ladies) suffering from chronic illness – extreme fatigue, pain, and/or faintness. Limited vehicles or money for transportation from our rural home to visit friends in the city. Mountains of burdens, expectations, and needs piled upon us, and an inability to be strong enough to face those burdens.
Prior to entering this massive, deep valley, I didn’t realize that when Jesus spoke about losing our lives to find them, he might be speaking about the loss that comes from the general suffering of this life, and not speaking so much about suffering as outspoken, annoying religious bigots.
In this valley of suffering, I have discovered another reality, another world, another Love far beyond anything material, tangible, quantifiable, or recognizable in this temporal existence.
Although I’m never enough, Jesus is always enough in my stead.
Although I’m unimpressive to humanity, I’m dearly loved by my Father and Savior.
Although I have little to show for myself according to the systems or standards of this life – no college degree, no glamorous or high-powered job, and terrible health – yet I am royalty – an heir of an inheritance stored away for me in heaven.
Although I have many questions and uncertainties about spirituality, God is very certain about my standing before Him.
Although I don’t have the energy to make it “to church” at all anymore, I’ve been blessed with a couple really close online friends, who have helped me on my journey of spiritual liberation to degrees organized religion rarely (if ever) has.
Although I don’t tend to fit into systemized “Christian” codes of thinking or boxes of opinion, I still have the code to enter heaven: Jesus.
Although I’ve lost enough to sometimes feel my situation rivals that of Job, I cannot possibly lose anything eternal or valuable. Those things are locked away and kept for me by a higher power. My inheritance and destiny cannot be stolen from me.
Although often I struggle to breathe or have the energy to walk without collapsing – and my neurons often seem to lose connection with each other – I constantly have a connection to my Father, and His eyes are constantly upon me. He hears my cries, even when I can’t speak. He knows my thoughts, even when I cannot articulate them.
It’s hard to see or understand these riches we have, until the props and covers of temporal riches are stripped away. It’s hard to believe that we are anything apart from our externally quantifiable achievements and status, until we lose these things and find that there is still something…or someone…there. Until we lose everything – even our own sanity – and discover that it’s okay to be broken.
It’s okay to fall. It’s okay to cry like a baby, break things like a child, and stumble like an aged man or woman. God is our mother who gathers us under her wings and comforts us, our father who fixes broken things, and our friend who holds us in our weakest moments without judgment.
“He delivers the afflicted in their affliction,
And opens their ear in time of oppression.” (Job 36:15)