John 16: 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
These words are straight out of Jesus’ mouth and He was talking to His disciples, not unbelievers. Sometimes, we wonder why Jesus will say such things. Isn’t life supposed to be easier with Him?
This past week, I had such a rough and tough week that I cried practically every day about one thing or the other. I focused on all the things that seemed wrong and also was filled with so much pain because it was the 5th month since my Mum died.
Let me list some of the things I cried about and then we’ll weigh them all on the scale that really matters.
I cried about my life in general, it just seemed like I always had to struggle for things that other people got with ease.
I cried about my apartment and the water issues we’ve experienced since we moved in; we have to often get water downstairs either very early before we leave for work or after work when I am super tired. I was frustrated about the whole situation because we have tried many things that just never seem to work. I thought and asked how long these things will keep happening and how I was just fed up with the whole situation.
I cried and cried about my Mum. Gosh, am I glad that week is over! 5 whole months without a single call from her. I remember singing a song Holy Spirit had put in my heart that morning of the 5 months ‘remembrance’ and I broke down as I sang. My sister was in the room and I like to have my quiet times alone but it was too heavy to hide that day.
I think I cried about finances too, how again, it felt like people always had things easier than I did (see how awful it is to compare yourself to others).
I didn’t cry about this, but I worried also about not having a partner yet and how people around me seemed to be in one great relationship or the other.
I burdened myself with too many thoughts that I did not have to think and if I had just changed my perspective, I would have been able to focus on the positives in my life. I have so much to be thankful for and sometimes, all it takes is for me to see those things and praise God for them.
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior
Now, let’s weigh all my last week worries on the scale that really matters: eternity.
My Mum is in heaven so I will see her again, I have food, shelter, family and friends that love me, a job that challenges me to become better. I get to buy water downstairs because I have money- money that I was crying about. Yes, I do have money, if not, I will not have been able to get to work today (conductor will kuku not hear story); the only problem was that I was crying that I did not have enough for tomorrow.
Isn’t that funny? I had enough for the day, but was sad that I didn’t seem to have enough for the rest of the month, the rest of the year and to kickstart my business. But what does the Bible say about worrying about tomorrow?
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
If I had just taken that last verse and focused on it, I would have had a more joyful week and I have learned my lessons.
As a believer, Jesus tells me in His word that I will have tough days and sometimes, tough weeks, but that He will be right there with me. If I focus on the right things, it will be easier to go through those days with Him.
If you had a tough week or have even had a tough year that you don’t understand, please remember that you are never alone. Remember that you have power over your thoughts and that things can look better if you decide to focus on God, His promises and His faithfulness in your past.
But who’s got to decide?
You. It’s you who has to focus on God, no one can do it for you. It will have been easier if people could just get in my head every time and make me see life the way God sees it, but that’s my part to play. Not even my Pastor can do that for me.
This week, remember that though Jesus promised that we will have tough days, He also promised that He will be right there, caring and soothing the pain.
Will you let Him?
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
You know the saying about how tough days don’t last, but tough people do?
I don’t know how true it is anymore because I have tried to be tough and it has not really worked. When I rest instead on Jesus (who I will not also describe as a tough guy), then I am able to conquer tough situations.
Love and light,