Last time, I wrote about how we have a choice–to view things with faith, love, and hope, or not to. They really are a game-changer. But this is the flip-side of that. Sometimes things are just hard–often, actually, since we are broken people living in a broken world.
Last week was crazy for us, like a lot of weeks are. I’ve been overdoing it and have been paying for it. My husband had the flu, which is practically unheard of in our house. Our kids were so stressed they couldn’t sleep at Grandma and Grandpa’s, despite the fact that they’d been looking forward to it for weeks.
Anyway, my husband and I were talking about how sometimes it’d be nice to tell people what’s happening in our lives and have them actually realize how rough things are. A lot of that comes with the territory of a chronic illness–unless you’ve been there, it’s difficult to understand how stressful it is to be sick (or to care for a sick loved one) for years and years. Plus, people expect you to sort of adjust, so they stop asking or offering help, which I get. It’s not that we want a pity party–we just want someone to listen and understand, to recognize on the days when we’re at the end of our ropes.
I’m sure you can relate. Everyone has hard things in their lives. Everyone has days when they feel like they’re at the very end of their rope.
Fortunately, there is someone who knows and understands. Someone who even steps in with help. I’ve been thinking about Hagar. If you’re not familiar with her story, she was Sarah’s maid (as in Abraham and Sarah in Genesis). Sarah convinced Abraham to impregnate Hagar so that she could have a child. Hagar obeyed her mistress, but once she became pregnant, she began to despise Sarah, and so Sarah began to mistreat her (Gen. 16). I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been. I mean, she didn’t choose to bear Abraham a son–she was a servant who obeyed. And later on she loses her home and is forced to watch her son sicken to the point that she knows he’s dying, not to mention that she herself doesn’t have water either (Gen. 21).
But then God intervenes. Both times He comforts her verbally, and, in Genesis 21, He provides for her physically. And after God comforts her and encourages her, she calls the God she speaks to: “the God who sees me.” I don’t know about you, but I need that reminder. Yes, I’m working to view my circumstances through the lenses of faith, hope, and love. Yes, I want to hang onto the fact that God is working all things for my good. But some days I just need to know that someone sees my pain and exhaustion and stress and cares.