Grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.
It isn’t necessarily that it’s hard. Hard we can deal with. Hard is a part of life. If it all came easily, without any challenges then would we even really grow? Would we ever be able to become more than we are or push ourselves to do better than we thought we could? If life wasn’t, at least a little hard, if it didn’t come with some form of difficulty that pushed us to thrive, to excel then we would just stagnate, never really ever finding out what we were capable of.
No… it’s meant to be hard, and most of the time at least, that’s okay. It’s when it is wrapped in the unknown, when we just can’t seem to figure it out, when the hardship comes from what we can’t seem to explain. In those moments it seems to become too much, overwhelming us with a tremendous weight as it pushes down on us. Those are the times when it seems to become more than we can handle, because we just don’t necessarily know how we are going to handle it, there is too much that we don’t know, that we don’t understand. There is just so much there that mystifies us, leaving us in unknown and unfamiliar places.
Is there anything scarier than not knowing? Is there anything worse than standing on the brink of the unknown, and not knowing what to do because it’s all so strange and different than what you know or what you think it should be? Is there challenge greater than not knowing how to handle a challenge as you feel overwhelmed by it, overpowered by it, like it is somehow overshadowing you as it encompasses you, swallowing you whole with no end in sight?
We can’t help but long for our peace, wondering if and when it will come, not sure what to do, not sure if there is anything we can even do. In those moments we don’t even know if we have the strength because we don’t necessarily know what strength we need. How could we? Even as we try to settle ourselves, to take a moment to think it out, to find a little bit of peace and solace, it hits us with just how out of control we actually are. But then it could hardly be a surprise. After all, we can’t really control what we don’t really know, and what we can’t really comprehend.
This is the strength of our God; though we may not understand, though we may not get it, though we may not know, as we stand on the edge of the unknown, fearfully journeying into unfamiliar territory, unable to find peace or comfort as the struggles are on us, He knows. There are no mysteries to God. Divine in nature, He knows, He understands, He comprehends things we can’t even begin to. (1 Corinthians 3:19) By His very nature He sees it all, hears it all, there is nothing lost or hidden to Him, there is nothing so far distant or far removed that it is out of His range. More than that though, even before we face something, He knows what it is that we’re going to face as He looks into our future, guiding us by the hand through all the days of our lives. (Jeremiah 1:5) There is nothing beyond the scope of His plan. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Here, though He never wants anything bad to happen to us, though He doesn’t want hardship to befall us, committing Himself so much to that love and mercy that He has for us that He would give His only Son to live and to die for us as the perfect sacrifice to conquer sin, death and the Devil for us, (John 3:16) He also knows that the Prince of this World will come seeking to devour us. (1 Peter 5:8) He will use whatever He can to ensnare us, pushing us into places we don’t know, into a darkness that we stumble through, a darkness that we will slip in, all that we may find ourselves falling into the pits of our own hurt and despair. He will even rob us of our moments of peace and our times of comfort so that He can take us and control us, so that He can exert His power over us.
This is why we need our Heavenly Father, why we need our Christ, for though this might be more than we, ourselves can bear, though it might be more than we can handle, through He who loves us, we are made more than conquerors. (Romans 8:37) Never failing us or forsaking us (Joshua 1:5) He reminds us that worrying, that not knowing, that being afraid of the unknown, of letting it have control over us, it doesn’t do anything for us. We add nothing to ourselves, we do nothing for ourselves by letting the unknown create undue hardship on us, or living in a fear of us. (Matthew 6:25-34) Each day is a new a day created by God to give us a new hope, whatever challenges it might bring, whatever struggles it may have and He is going to make us stronger than anything that the Devil and this world can throw at us.
His blessing, His hope lies in the boundless love that He has for us, it is a love that tells us that whatever burdens we have, whatever pressures may seek to break us, we can lay it at His feet and He will take it from us. (Matthew 11:28-30) We need not fear, we need not be afraid, we need to let it get us down, or make us struggle more than we have to. After all, in grace and mercy, God is there to give us the peace we so long for, to comfort us and heal us in all that may be and all that may come.
Look then, dear brothers and sisters, past the unknown to look on the face of the Known, see past the unfamiliar to behold the heart of the Familiar, and reach confidently into the darkness, for when you do You will take the hand of the Light. No matter what you may think or believe you know God is there to give unto you, you need just put your future in His hands, to say there is so much that you don’t get, so much that does scare and frighten you, so much that you don’t understand, but that you are placing it into His loving hands. He will lead you, taking you and uplifting you as He strengthens and preserves you in all that you are and all that you can be to make you into all you hope to be. Then, when the time is right, He will make all things known to you, revealing the full majesty and magnitude of His divine and holy plan unto you so that never will you be a “Stranger in a strange land” again, letting His hope magnify within you.
Trust in God and He will heal, binding the wounded and broken places within you that all of the unknowns have brought. Put your faith in Him who cares for you and He will bring you to places of comfort and peace beyond anything you have ever known. Sometimes it just takes time and patience, but, so long as Your hope is in the name of the Lord, it does come to you as He draws you through the days of hardship and despair nearer and closer to Him, pulling you into your arms to shelter you through all this worlds storms.
Lord, grant this unto us all…
Now may the peace of the Lord, that peace that transcends all human understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus even unto life everlasting, Amen.