“This generation is always looking for a quick fix.” spilled out of my mouth as I was sharing some parenting challenge with a friend. I was smug in my surety that I was different–that I was older and wiser. But the truth is, I’m really not. In fact, I think most people, no matter their age, are all looking for quick fixes to their problems. Who wants to suffer any longer than necessary? My typical reaction to painful situations is to “get me out of here!” That was certainly how I felt when I was going through my divorce and the challenging period after it was final.
One of the most frustrating aspects of going through a divorce (or any painful situation, really) is that as much as you would like, you can’t snap your fingers and make it all go away. It seems that just when you have solved one problem, or suffered through yet another emotional experience, there is another right behind it. Life can become a grind. This is when you can become hopeless and feel like God has abandoned you.
Guess what? God knows EVERYTHING. He knows everything that has happened to you (and everything that will), and He knows exactly how you are feeling. Because He honors your free will, he rarely comes in and saves you from yourself. What He does do is long for you to show your trust in Him by living your faith, especially on the really difficult days when you are not sure what you believe. Those are the days that you are not acting out of feelings, but out of your will. A will that chooses God over yourself. You see, God is in it with you for the long haul. He is with you day by day as you trudge through life trying to make it all make sense, battling frustration, hopelessness, and despair. When you muster the courage and obedience to live your faith, to believe even when you are not sure, and to act even when your feelings are telling you it’s not worth it, that’s when the blessings flow. This faithfulness is what God will reward everyday, even though you may not see it or feel it. It is only in the looking back that you can more clearly see how God has loved you all along the way.
I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me. – Galatians 2:19-20