by: lisa evola
I live in a broken world.
I don’t mean this planet with its wars or the plethora of other brokenness that takes place in it. I am talking about
I am broken, and there are days that it is all I can do just to survive it. I’ve tried to be a good Christian. Minister to the poor, the hurting, the vulnerable. But here’s the truth of it: I am the poor, the hurting, and the vulnerable. Maybe not as much as some, but that doesn’t erase the reality of me.
Yes, placing our focus on those less fortunate than ourselves, can certainly help to put some things into perspective, and it is definitely good to focus on the needs of others. The bigger picture. But what about those days when you just can’t make that happen? The days that you can’t help but wallow in the mire of your own misery and pain. I’d like to say that I am bigger than that, that I don’t let depression, circumstance, or disappointments control how I think or how I live out my life.
But the reality is: I am broken.
I’m not strong.
I’m not perfect.
And I am not above admitting it.
It is in those times when several of the hard days string together that I question everything.
And yes, sometimes the goodness of God.
Oh, I know that God is good – in my mind and soul. But I can’t always feel it in my bones. Have you ever experienced this?
I ran into an old friend at the park once last summer. We exchanged pleasantries, talked about days past, and caught up on current happenings in our life. She asked about a common friend who is battling cancer and we both expressed our dismay with her struggle.
Then I asked her about HER. How was she doing? Tears filled her eyes to brimming, but she brushed it away saying that although she struggled, it was nothing compared to the struggles of our friend or others. Nothing compared to not knowing how long you will live and what the rest of those days will look like. She made less of the pain that she felt, but the shadow of it still lived below the surface of her words. You could see it there hovering beneath.
I wondered then if pushing away our feelings is such a smart thing to do.
Isn’t pain meant to be felt?
Don’t we need to recognize it in order to truly heal?
Does the deeper suffering of others negate our own experiences?
Jesus said in His famous teaching on prayer:
Give us this day our daily bread
What we NEED
He also implored us not to worry about tomorrow, that today has enough trouble of its own. And I see it. That is why He instructed us to pray for our daily bread: to pray for what we need to survive today.
And what we need can change from day to day. Maybe today I need healing. Possibly tomorrow I will simply need strength or endurance. The Lord knows what we need…each day. Today. Ask for it.
Sometimes this will be support from a friend or even a stranger. Maybe it will be a provision of blessing. Often it is simply the strength to survive today.
You are not alone, we all struggle. Maybe my struggle isn’t as difficult as yours, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be felt. It’s okay.
Feel the pain
Experience the struggle