Tonight is an evening cup of coffee kind of night. An evening cup of coffee and a prayer in my heart for all the times things don’t seem right. Because the truth is this is a broken place that we live in. And even when it is delightful to look at the small, the ordinary, the dishes and the sack lunches, there are gaping holes in lives. Chasms of darkness that cannot be filled by merely finding a pleasant morning routine, eating whole wheat bread, and taking time to enjoy the little things.
Sometimes there aren’t even words to use that can even scratch at the surface of the level of intense pain that can be felt in this world. Sometimes we are right in the middle of it, suffocating under the load of agony. Other times we watch as if on the outside of a window, seeing the contents within being ripped apart while being incapable to do anything but watch with sadness.
It seems unfair, really. The happiness and fullness that can be experienced while others hurt and are emptied. The darkness and shadows of one happen right alongside of the bright and the hopeful of another.
If only we could all be radiant with joy. To step out of darkness and into light. We serve the Prince of Peace. Why can’t we all know the peace He offers? To be relieved of suffering and enter into a place of wholeness.
A phone call comes. Hopes that were disappointed. Wounds that are searing. And in the braveness only a woman of God can speak, these words of insight are spoken.
You say peace means nothing missing and nothing broken. Maybe that includes the difficult circumstances. Maybe that means the hard stuff has to be here so that we can have peace. Maybe we need to walk through the darkness to know wholeness.
The Apostle James had the same revelation.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. -James 1:2-4
Its more than a maybe. It is the truth. The hurt, the suffering, the pain. It is what God uses to bring us to completion, to a place maturity, to shalom peace where we lack nothing. Its paradoxical really, as are most things in the kingdom. To find wholeness we must be emptied. To reach a place where nothing is broken we must be broken. To be full we must lose. To live we must die. That’s how things are in this upside down kingdom.
But isn’t the path to peace always like that?
The path to Golgotha was the path to peace. There was nothing fair about a man of moral perfection and ultimate holiness carrying the cross to his death. It was absolutely messy. But at the end of that path was real peace. It was finished. Completely. And in the tearing of a vail there was the mending of all the brokenness.
If we walk in the way of our Savior we will walk in the path of suffering. It should be our prayer. To know the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings. It is a messy path. But take heart. There is peace at the end of this path.