A few months ago I was at a party and someone asked me how things were going with the fourplex and what I had learned. Without hesitation I told her it was harder than I thought it was going to be. I was surprised at not only the honesty of my response but also how quickly I opened up. While I value honesty and openness in my personal relationships, I often have to muster up the strength to disclose. The ease of this communication instantly attracted my attention.
Reflecting on the depth of my quick response, I realized I knew she also served others with some degree of difficulty. I also knew the heart of this person and how she had worked for redemption in her story. That interaction highlighted a distinct truth that spans across time: going through hard things helps us to hear others in their pain.
We follow a God who is not distant but, like the friend at the party, is close. He made himself vulnerable to pain for my sake. He chose to become human, taking on the form of a servant. He had the right to choose comfort and unending exaltation and leave me disconnected from Him. Let me say that again: it was well within his rights. But he chose – chose – to take on human limits. When I would have stayed, He chose to experience pain and disconnection. As PJ shared Sunday from Philippians 4, God desires that we share with him our anxieties and confusion. Having gone through difficulties, He is certainly a safe relationship to receive us.
I find myself much steadier in difficulties when I choose to remember that He is near and understands. And just like in my conversation with the friend at the party, I find it much easier to open up to Him when I recall He has already victoriously experienced all the mixed pain and joy of this existence.
As we go through hard things, I invite you to join me in remembering His nearness. May we help one another face our difficulties and remember His nearing victory.