Do you ever look at another person and wish you could exchange lives? Maybe they’re better looking, or richer, or thinner, or taller, or shorter, or maybe they just seem to have it all together.
The desire to walk in another person’s shoes often has a catalyst—trials, fears, failures, and a host of other things that we hide at the core of our inner universe behind pasted smiles. Even when we fall into bed at night, we tend to lug those push carts filled with trouble, heartache, and unfulfilled longings right along side us. Then, about 3 o’clock in the morning, they jolt us from our sleep, tossing out anxiety like horseshoes, demanding that we solve our existential crises before the sun comes up.
Sometimes I feel as if I’m part of a coverup society that’s baptized in Christian orthodoxy. So many of my brothers and sisters tell me they’re fine when I know for a fact they are not. And way too often I tell others I’m fine when, in truth, I’m struggling. Maybe if we removed the masks and confessed that we aren’t fine—in fact we’re rather sorry and messed up—then maybe we would see the wonder of who God really is and His greatness in taking our messy lives and turning them into trophies of His grace.
There’s something I learned early in my Christian life—I don’t know what I believe until everything around me collapses, when God’s fatherly care and comfort vaporizes, when my prayers stick to the ceiling and rise no further. On that day, all veneers are removed. I either believe God is my Father or I don’t. On that day, I know whether my faith is real or fake.
When disaster strikes, we often hear unbelievers strike out at God (the one they don’t believe in) and question how a loving God could let such bad things happen. The true Christian, on the other hand, cries out “Father!” And sometimes that’s the only word in their prayer. That one word points to the saving reality that they are God’s adopted children.
Trials discover who we really are. And today is a good time to leave the heavy lifting of push carts with our heavenly Father.
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