A friend loses her job, a mother loses her mind. A child falls and scrapes her knee, a man falls off the wagon. I witnessed such struggles this week, and paused to note the challenge of being human.
In this world you will have trouble, declares the gospel of John. Do you sometimes get dragged down by what seems to be the inhumanity of our world? I had to stop taking the paper years ago because of the endless stream of black-hearted news that just wasn’t outweighed by the good. But burying my head in the sand isn’t that useful, because the black is there, too.
How do we function as humans, who have souls and eternity in our hearts, in this universe, that while oftentimes enjoyable, also harbors terror, grave injustice, fear, hatred, betrayal, and depression? With resignation? Fatalism? “That’s life.”
But wait, there’s a dawn rising, and I heard that joy comes in the morning.
You can get a new job, restore your mind, heal the wound, and climb back aboard. Really? There’s hope? Always. Can I share the remainder of the verse in John about trouble?
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. John 16:33
Like water to a parched tongue are these words to my soul. I forget. I am Israel, and I forget. Jesus has overcome! There is an offering of peace and a call to courage in these parting words. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead IS at work in me. Beauty DOES rise from ashes. Trials DO produce perseverance, which in turn gives wisdom.
I am willing to be human.