Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hidden Hurt

One of humorist Emma Bombeck's more memorable book titles asks the question If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, Why Am I in the Pits? Does this describe where you are at right now or perhaps have been recently? If it's true, don't be embarrassed. You're not alone.

One of the myths about our faith is that "true Christians" are always supposed to be upbeat. Somehow we equate sadness, grief, or (shudder) periodic depression with sin. But if we step back and take a realistic view of things we realize that life has its ups and downs. To pretend that the difficulties we face have no effect on us is to lie to ourselves and others around us.

Christ himself knew both sorrow and grief. Are we somehow better than He was at dealing with life's problems? Hardly. We just hide behind our fake smiles and pretend we aren't dying inside in the hope that no one will guess how much we are hurting.

Can we agree to take off our masks of pride and self-sufficiency and be real with each other? There's no shame in showing someone else our pain. Who knows? God may have that person in our life at that very moment to be His minister to us. Let's not take away that person's chance to be a blessing or miss out on how God wants to bless us through them.

If we allow Him to, God can refine us in the forge of sorrow and grief just as gold is refined. We hinder the process when we "protect" ouselves behind the veneer of the plastic Christian.

And you know what the problem with plastic Christians is, don't you? They melt away when things get too hot.


Kathleen said...

Another great post!

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