How To Thrive When Life Gets Hard

How will you respond to the ordinary toils and troubles of today?

The story of Kara Tippetts encourages me. A wife and mother of four. A 38-year-old woman who honored Jesus in both her life and death. And while fragments of her life became public in her final days, I am grateful that 'Mundane Faithfulness' is the name of her blog. Here is why.

I do not have cancer. My family is healthy. My church is hopeful. I have started a business where I get to be generous and work with amazing clients. I have a great life. It is ordinary and mundane. And it is damn hard.

My boys didn't listen particularly well to our family devotional this morning. My left knee is doing this weird thing where it feels like it could give out if I take one bad step. People who I love woke up sick and sad this morning. There are things that matter to me that don't make sense to me. 

Perhaps you can relate. And maybe you will allow me to share a few thoughts on why I still believe today will be a great day. Yes, life is hard but I am convinced that I will thrive today. Here's how:

Rest

There is an eye in the middle of every hurricane. And there is rest smack dab in the middle of hard days. And, yes, that includes power naps and eight hours of sleep.

But doesn't it seem that the Scriptures have something more pervasive in mind than a day off when we're promised a Sabbath rest is coming? Maybe we don't have to hold out for a vacation or a sabbatical to find rest. It might be ten minutes later today to open the Bible, listen to God and respond in prayer.

And it might be in these ordinary means of grace that I find exactly what I need to calm the storm that rages in my soul.

Remember

Here are some important things to remember. You don't tug on Superman's cape. You don't spit into the wind. You don't pull the mask off the Lone Ranger.

And here are a few other things you discover when you seek rest in the Scriptures. You are known. You are loved. You are forgiven. You are a part of something that is so much bigger than your mundane existence yet so pervasive that even the ordinary and unimpressive moments of today matter.

Why? Because there is a good and gracious God whose glory and greatness have already completed the work to fill your hell of a day with hope.

Repent

Maybe Martin Luther was right when he said the entire life of the Christian is a life of repentance. There is something cathartic about honesty. There is something powerful about giving the finger to all that life throws at you and turning on your heels to follow Jesus.

There is an antidote to the guilt and shame embedded in your sorrows and struggles. Maybe Jesus wasn't getting onto us when he tells us to 'repent, for the kingdom of heaven is here.' Maybe he's inviting us to find happiness and hope even in the places where tears and despair have claimed sovereignty in our soul.

Risk

God has given you a life. And that life will take place in a broken world surrounded by broken people. And in God's infinite wisdom he has given you two options - you can take risks with your life, or you can watch your life rust away.

Risk or rust. Your call. You can play it safe, or you can roll the dice. Prayers; active listening; hospitality; putting in a good day's work; awkward conversations about Jesus. This life of blessing is what love looks like for ordinary people in everyday life. And until Jesus returns and finishes his grand remodeling project, love will always be risky.

Will You Love?

Steve Garber writes, 'Knowing what you know, will you still love?' Next time I see Steve I need to tell him that every time I read that, I hear the voice of Jesus. Because God loves us, we can rest, remember and repent as revolutionary expressions of love for God. Because God loves us, we can take regular and radical risks in the name of loving others. 

Know someone having a rough day? Take a minute and share this with them on social media or email. And thank you for walking through the last five minutes of your life with me. I am grateful for you. 

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