I’ve been having a very hard time lately, struggling with feelings, hopes, dreams that are common to girls my age – but they’re like a “common” cold. If you caught it, it may give other people relief when they hear your complaint is just the “common” cold but when you’re lying in bed shivering from head to toe, aching chest, and burning eyes to hear you just have a “common” cold is no comfort; your complaint is still very serious, painful, and burdensome. So it is, I’m learning, with many girls in my age group. Things they take very serious are dubbed “adolescent problems” – “Everyone has them” “it’s nothing new”, but to them the feelings they are fighting are very new, very painful, and more often than not, very crushing.
For many, many girls- and I suppose boys too – going through the transition between child and adult can be very hard; it is a time of growing, learning experiencing, but it can also be a time of pain, mistakes, fighting – inside one’s soul and outside – discouragement – oh, life in every way can seem so hopeless, so lost, so useless.
I used to think because I was a Christian I’d never have such struggles – what’s so hard about growing up anyhow? Does being a Christian raise any mortal to a status of immortality? Does having Christ in you totally transform this worrying, struggling, emotional being into a bundle of complete peace, joy, love, forgiveness and trust – constant abiding in the things of the Lord?
The Bible says Jesus promises all these wonderful gifts to His children – He says He and the Father “will make our abode in you.” Jesus, God, is nothing but Love – love.
“Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth.”
Isn’t this the picture of Christ? Isn’t this the true meaning of love? Do I possess this sort of love? Do I function in this love?
Love is Christ, Christ dwells in us. If we let Him He will be the very wellspring of our lives – then His Life – this Love – will come forth and operate – without us being aware of it. His Life will replace our life; His thinking our thinking, God is Love.
I accepted Jesus, I’ve been baptized, Jesus nailed my sinful nature to His cross, I’m free. Jesus did all things – now I can do all things through Christ Who strengtheneth me.
As a Christian – even if I’m a young girl (or boy ) growing up, finding myself – making the transition all youth make – or if I’m a parent dealing with such a child or a wife supporting her husband, or a husband providing for his wife; all things are well and easy. Life is like a smooth sleigh ride across a level white world. All things are beautiful, life is easy. Why? Because I’m a Christian! Jesus lives in me.
It’s that easy. Is it?
A young Christian girl suddenly finds herself crying herself to sleep over worries she knows are silly but she can’t get away from. She prays, she pours over her Bible – no comfort. Frustration, confusion, she blames herself.
A young Christian boy – frustrated with life. Confused by feeling, dreams his dad says “God’ll take care of “ or “Everyone has them” or “You’re just growing up”. Why is he fighting inside – feeling like a pot of water is boiling over deep in the pit of his stomach? Isn’t Jesus with him? Isn’t he a Christian anymore?
How about parents? Through the economic crisis Dad’s lost his job, times are tough – joy is gone. Where is Jesus? He promised us peace, joy, happiness – security in Him. Why are we struggling through each week? Why can’t we keep food in the pantry? Why’s the lights going off because we can’t pay the bill? Why are our children so discontented? Why’s our family feeling like it’s falling apart?
Where is Jesus now?
Believe not those who say,
The upward path is smooth
Lest though should stumble in the way
And faint before the truth.
To labor and to love
To pardon and endure
To lift thy heart to God above,
And keep thy conscience pure.
Be this thy constant aim
Thy hope, thy chief delight,
What matter who should whisper blame,
Or who should scorn or slight.
If but thy God approve
And if within thy breast
Thou feel the comfort of His love
The earnest of His rest.
Believe not those who say, the upward path is smooth.
When one thinks of Christianity they think of hope, joy, peace fullness, eternal life.
But if all of a Christians life was “tea and scones” why was the apostle Paul so distraught?
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present in me, but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do. O wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Oh it is so natural for human beings to do that which is natural for human beings
A young boy finds himself full of lust, a young girl discovers that she can’t quit thinking about getting married, or she’s obsessed with the idea of having a baby, parents can’t make themselves quit worrying about their children mothers are amazed to learn that their main thoughts aren’t on Jesus and His love at all – all they think about is getting food on the table, keeping clean clothes, or taking their child to a Dr. Dad’s can’t believe they are so possessed with family finances, business, farm job… nothing that has anything to do with Jesus!
But we’re human! Don’t we still live on earth? Jesus dwells in us, we’re Christians, but does that mean we’re angels in heaven already? We still need clothes, food, money – we’re still growing up, we’re still parents, family, we’re still humans!
So where’s all the peace, joy, and fullness Jesus promised? How are we to be human without being overcome by all these worries?
“Take no thought for tomorrow”
“Trust in the Lord thy God”
Such simple commandments, aren’t they? But jump into the hub-bub of the world today and those commandments are like asking a deaf person to listen – is seems impossible, impolitic.
So we go on, pushing our way among millions of unbelievers, fighting to survive, just like they do and then turn around and say, “Jesus! Where are you? Where’s the peace and joy You promised?
“We never can prove the delights of His love, ‘till all on the alter we lay. For the favor He shows, and the joy He bestows are for all who will trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”
How many of us have the joy, peace, fullness, that Jesus promised us in this life? How many of us truly “trust and obey” Him? It’s so easy to be caught up in the struggles of life. We are still humans. We do require certain necessities for survival, we do have a time of storms where we “grow up”, we do have a life of trials ahead of us.
But Jesus said He knows the number of hairs on our heads – He said take no thought; He said He knows when the smallest sparrow dies – and how much more are we to God than thousands of sparrows?
Jesus knows what we are going to do before we even think it, He sees our thoughts, our motives; He knows what is in man and He loves us just as we are.
Oh how true that little saying is, “A pound of worry never yet cancelled a single ounce of debt.”
Jesus has our lives as His first concern. He knows what is going to happen. If we allow Him, He has everything planned according to His purpose.
So why do we sit and worry? Why do we get up and try to run away? Why do we panic and try to figure out what to do? Why do we beg and beg to know God’s will? Why can’t we just trust our Father to know how to care for His children?
I know you still say this is impossible. But when you really think of it, isn’t it sort of stupid to try to figure out what to do when Jesus already has the plans laid out? It’s not only stupid, it’s dangerous – we can make so many mistakes trying to “fix” something we think is wrong – not realizing that all these troubles are in Jesus’ plan!
When I think of myself and the trouble I’ve put myself and my family through with my worries, thoughts, frets – I can laugh and cry too! Oh the stupidity!
Jesus has my life planned out! He knows what to do – all I have to do is trust Him, like a child his parent and what comfort it is to know that my Father will never be wrong!
Don’t try to run from burdens. Don’t try to escape. Don’t try to figure it out. Don’t even pray your burden will be removed.
Pray that Jesus will be your grace, your ability to rise above the burden. Pray that Jesus’ Life in you will come forth – He never doubts, never worries, never struggles, or fights. He is love. Peace . Joy. Fullness – Trust.
Look at each new trial as a lesson, an opportunity, to see your Father work.
Life will truly then be all “tea and scones”.
You may fall still. You may still stumble and yield to the pressure of your circumstances but look to Jesus – even from your place in the mire that has tripped you up – never despond – call on your Father.
“Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin; each victory will help you, some other to win. Fight manfully onward, dark passion subdue. Look ever to Jesus He’ll carry you through.”
“To Him that o’re cometh, God giveth a crown. Through faith we will conquer, though often cast down. He who is our Savior, our strength will renew. Look ever to Jesus. He’ll carry you through.”
“Ask the Savior to help you, comfort, strengthen and keep you. He is willing to aid you. He will carry you through.”