What Do You Do When Life is Hard?

Job 1:6-11

One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan.

Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.”

Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”

Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. 10 You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! 11 But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!”

In the heavenly scene above, we find God and Satan having a conversation — kind of a weird set up based on most of the depictions of good versus evil I’ve seen.

Satan tells God he’s watching “everything that’s going on” on earth and God’s response was, “Have you noticed my servant Job?”

When I first read this, it came off as kind of brag-y on God’s part, “Check out my man Job!” But, the more I read, it seems like God — in this statement — is a proud Father.

This messes with the image of God I get in my head sometimes: super judge-y, critical, hard to please and usually disappointed in me — like a cosmic Emily Gilmore. Yikes!

The older I get, the more I realize I put a lot of things on God that are nothing like Him, and everything like my own baggage, hurts, assumptions and judgments.

Netflix, Naps and Target Runs

Those lies I believe about God are part of the reason why — when the “ish” really hits the fan in my life — it can feel easier to search for comfort or relief in food, Netflix, naps, and Target runs, rather than Him.            

Now, there is nothing wrong with enjoying T.V., shopping, food, sleeping or ______________ (fill in the blank with your favorite non-destructive de-stressor of choice).

 target lady its a match.gif              

But, things get dicey when I try to use those comforts to numb pain or avoid relationships when I’m hurting.

For me, often the first relationship I avoid — when things are difficult or stressful — is the one I have with God.

When Things Hit the Fan 

A few years ago, I went through one of the hardest times of my life.

Three relationships in a row ended up not panning out.

I was living alone for the first time, having a hard time finding community and feeling really lonely.

And then, soon after the medicine I was on was on started causing symptoms of depression, I was sexually assaulted by a stranger.

Something inside me just broke.

I went numb and ran to old comforts I had tried for years on and off to get under control, which added a nice thick layer of shame on top of everything else that I was going through.

The Heisman 

So, there I was isolated, feeling shame and floating in numbness, giving God the relational “Heisman.”

He didn’t seem good anymore and it felt like I couldn’t trust Him. However, it would be months before I allowed myself to admit I was feeling that way.

I proceeded to go through the motions of life and faith, trying cope through distractions. All the while, I was wrestling with immense shame because of the things I was running to instead of God.

I judged myself harshly for how I handled everything and then proceeded to project that judgment onto God.

What God wanted from me then — and still wants now — was my heart first, not my behavior.

What I expected from myself then — and still struggle with expecting now — was the ability to handle it all and behave perfectly on my own.

The truth that a perfect God sees me — my anger, my frustration, the weird way I say “milk,” my wounds, my fear, my love of hostessing, music and animals, my failure, my muffin top as well as my disdain for my muffin top, my selfishness, my love of gift giving, my wrong assumptions, all of it — and invites me to bring every part of me to Him,  literally doesn’t make sense.

But, if I can’t acknowledge those parts of me and trust and accept that I am totally loved and forgiven by God, I will keep running away from Him and to other things.

Closeness with God starts with my insides — bringing my heart to Him — not my outsides — my behavior. But, I get this twisted.

I don’t need to have it all together or have my life wrapped up in a pretty bow that I made from a tutorial I found on Pinterest — though Pinterest tutorials are fun.

When all that crap was happening to me and when I was doing all that crap to myself, God was there grieving with me and for me.

He saw His daughter broken and hurting, and wanted to hold her.

And with time, I want to learn how to bring every part of me to Him and be held.


P.S. If you want to read the rest of the story about happened to Job you can click here. The Reader’s Digest version is: Satan basically destroyed and took everything from Job that he loved. Job didn’t curse God. But, Job was honest about his pain and brought it to God. God restored everything that was lost and then some for, His son, Job.


2 thoughts on “What Do You Do When Life is Hard?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s