I’m not sure if kids even say this anymore, but my childhood is dotted with memories of summertime front lawn wrestling matches with sweaty children challenging their friends in a display of neighborhood Greco Roman athleticism. The match was usually won at the point someone’s face was eating grass, or they just couldn’t stand the struggle any longer and caved in with the cry of “Uncle!” (In search of an origin, I found lots of supposition and no concrete proof, so feel free to make up your own!)
Sometimes the connections my brain makes is a mystery even to me. Call it a gift, call it a curse, but there’s some Venn Diagram action going on in my head pretty much all of the time, connecting things that have nothing to do with each other. Except when they do. And that’s what’s about to happen here…
My heart is leaning hard tonight toward those who are presently facing their own very real tests of strength and battles of courage. They are emotionally and literally exhausted from the struggle and it’s hard to imagine another year, or month, or day, or even hour without some promise or assurance that the struggle will at least begin to loosen its grip a little so they can adjust and reposition for a better hold.
The fight is real. The pain is real. The questions are real. The discouragement is real. It’s all very, very real for those whose faces are pressed into the grass, grasping for something new to hold on to….
These 40 days of Lent are leading us toward the most important event in world history, when the ultimate sacrifice of one serves as the salvation of all, and I so wish I could tell you that means all the pain of the world was buried in that grave with Jesus, never to be seen again on this present earth. But that would not only be untrue, it would be cruel to those who are going through it on the daily.
And I tread lightly here, because I know well how genuine words of hope and encouragement can come across as trite and shallow to the suffering. But this is what I can offer you, dear ones, who are holding hard onto faith even in the fight:
God is not your opponent.
Though it may seem like it at times, God is not causing your pain and is never absent or ambivalent when it comes to you.
God is always for you.
And so am I. <3
This may only be for the very few on Day 18, and if it isn’t something that resonates with you just now, will you please pause and lift a prayer of hope and healing for those who need to know they aren’t forgotten? It’s a very Jesus thing to do. And I truly believe it will make a difference!
Holding hope with you,