Sometimes life is hard.
Sometimes life is unspeakably beautiful.
Most of the time, the categories and seasons of this life aren’t so mutually exclusive. And somewhere in the middle, in the midst of the everyday that refuses to be so easily defined, I often feel like a hot mess of back-and-forth, up-and-down, I-don’t-know-which-way-is-up.
The inner tension and turmoil can become unbearable as I try to process and make sense of and unpack this life as it changes and unfolds.
There is so much that I just plain don’t know or understand.
The more I flesh out questions that don’t have easy answers, the more I try to make sense of how my life intertwines with others, the more I try to understand God’s plan, the more I realize how little I actually DO know and how far I have to go.
And it’s in those moments that I come closest to understanding the reality that I’ll never actually get there.
At least not this side of my eternal reality.
Because the “there” that I seem to be aiming for, that seems to exist only within the confines of my own brain, that demands nothing short of near-perfection and getting every little thing right all the time, doesn’t actually exist.
It’s a twisted perception that assumes if I just had this or were just better at this or could just improve this, life would suddenly be as it should be.
But that’s just not right at all.
And the weight of the error in that sort of thinking is downright crippling.
But on the other side, there is relief and release when I can come to grips with even a dim understanding that I’m not supposed to have answers to everything and that I’m more-or-less supposed to feel helpless and out of control.
Because the hard and unpleasant and I’m-not-even-sure-how-to-live-with-it truth is I am helpless and out of control.
I don’t call the shots.
I don’t control this life.
No amount of over-analyzing or self-evaluating or hyper-spiritualizing will EVER change that.
Yes, if I identify areas in this life that need work, by the grace of God and by the power of His Holy spirit within me, I can be changed. He can and will continue to sanctify me, to make me holy, to conform me to His image.
But I can’t get there by a sheer force of will or by maintaining the ideal schedule.
As I consider the future … having dreams and setting goals and making plans … it’s easy to become so task oriented and short sighted that I fall into the trap of thinking if I just make the plan and do the work, I’ll achieve success. Or conversely, that if I want something and don’t do anything about it, I’m just not driven or ambitious enough, and might as well accept failure.
But interruptions and inconsistencies and inconveniences are just part of life. That’s where God so often chooses to work. And the more I try to do all the right things or to have all the right answers, the more my focus ends up back on myself and my gaze slips from HIM.
This life still isn’t and never will be about me.
And when my eyes are rightly fixed on the Lord, when I’m seeking Him first, while I don’t have all the answers and I certainly still lack understanding, somehow perspective is restored and I can rest in the reality that I don’t make my own path straight. I can dream within the context of desiring more of Him (for myself and for others), but I don’t control how that plays out in this life nearly as much as I think I do.
So this is where I once again admit that I just don’t have many answers at all.
That this life is most right when my eyes are steadily and assuredly fixed on Christ.
That this life is more about seeking His presence than seeking all the right answers.
That this life is so much better when I trust the details and directions to His plan and His way.
That this life is not for me to make sense of because I’m not in control of it.
But in the midst of the unknown of this life, the one thing that I do know, that I can say with absolute assurance, that is beyond comforting is this:
In all of His sovereignty, goodness, and holiness.
He’s the Great I AM, in control of this life and this world from beginning to end.
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
Exodus 3:14 (ESV)