Not Ok…but It’s Ok
There is an epidemic unfolding. I know you see it, too. Perhaps you even feel it. Everywhere you look everyone is working overtime to hide it, to fix it, to get under, around, and over it. But you can’t. Neither can I.
Brokenness. Hurt. Disappointment. Rejection. Loss. Pain. Suffering.
No one wants to highlight that reel. I am learning that sometimes there are just some spaces that we walk through in this life that will never resonate with a ringing refrain of “it is well with my soul.” We edit those selfies with “filters” that soften the edges, the wrinkles, the “this-is-harder-than-I-thought-it-would-be” reflection in our souls. But it’s there. We may not post it or brag about it, but we don’t forget it, either.
We are not supposed to forget it. We are supposed to glean from it.
Forgetting it would sacrifice the learning afforded when we walk through it. One step at time in the hands of a good, good Father who can take the same hard soil we are tilling and turn it into hallowed ground.
Over the years, as my own journey with Jesus has unfolded, I am learning that it’s ok – even in the moments (or perhaps seasons) when it’s not ok.
Not that I want to stay there or wallow in the hard, but truthfully, I know that the goodness of God is more reliable than any brutal territory I may pass through. I know that His goodness is an unshakeable certainty that not even the roughest terrain can upheave. I might have to wait for it. I might have to press deeply into soil that has yet been broken up to find it. I might have to put my feet on the floor even when I would rather pull the covers up over my head. But goodness will indeed come again. It always does because He always is.
And to be honest, I have also learned that there are just some Truths that are better learned by going through the hard than around it.
David learned the character and faithfulness of God as a shepherd in a field long before he experienced it on a throne. (1 Samuel 16:11, 17:32-27)
Job had a deeper revelation and understanding of the power and majesty of God after he walked through devastating suffering and loss. (Job 42:1-3)
Solomon, who had (and was ultimately led astray) by more wives and fortune than you could count, came to author Song of Solomon, one of the most beautiful and intimate books in the Bible about the sacred relationship between one man and one woman. (Song of Solomon)
The prodigal son discovered the power of love and forgiveness at the end of a long road of pride and selfishness. (Luke 15:11-24)
The list goes on and on…so many testimonies of this life that are both hard and beautiful and how most of us get the privilege to experience both. Look with me at this beloved psalm:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Psalm 23 (ESV)
Even though I walk through (whatever)… I will fear NO evil for YOU are WITH me. There is such peace in this psalm. Not because there is an absence of suffering or struggle, but because there is a Presence of Someone far stronger than both. And what He provides speaks a better word than what this life can dispense. Who else but a merciful, kind, loving Father would call us to rest in such places of sorrow? He calls us to rest not because of the suffering itself, but because He already sees the goodness and mercy that He is unfolding on the other side of it.
Who else but a good and faithful King would actually prepare a feast in the face of fear? He does. He is. And He is ok with the dichotomy. He loves to sharply contrast the landscape of this life with the reality of His Presence and provision. He does that because He sees the end of the story, the other side of the hard, and He assures us that He is indeed working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
Every time. Each time. No matter how many times. He is still on the throne. He is working. He is faithful. You and I may not be ok right now…but it’s really gonna be ok. He is moving. He is still God. He is still trustworthy. He is still good.
The blessing I want to share with you today is from a relatively new band, We Are Messengers, and the song is entitled, “Maybe It’s Ok.” The sentiment in this song captured my attention right away because the message was different than what you typically hear in the mainstream. To be honest, I find that refreshing. I pray that today, if you find yourself in a season that is hard and you are waiting for that promised breakthrough, you will be encouraged to press deeper still into the God who sees you and the good story He is indeed writing for your life. (I also included the song story video…couldn’t agree more. 🙂
With joy for the journey,