If anyone ever told you being a Christian was easy, they were either lying or not doing it right. Or perhaps they’ve figured out something I haven’t yet, but really I think we were promised we would be hard. Jesus came out and said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” And I definitely think I’ve realized the truth of that in the last year, with trials ranging from chronic health problems and pain to conflicts with friends and struggles in ministry. Now, there’s no question that I have also seen amazing blessings and had an incredible year. But life has just seemed especially hard this year. And now, school is starting again and with it comes a whole new set of challenges. I’m trying to start an international student ministry, which means lots of getting out and trying to meet as many international students as possible. This presents a new challenge for me: starting to conversations. I’m an introvert who hates talking to strangers. For me, this is absolutely terrifying and stressful. On top of this, my health has been acting up again, I haven’t been sleeping well, and there’s this feeling of exhaustion that I cannot seem to shake. I feel utterly overwhelmed, and I can’t help but ask, “When does it get easier?” I’m tired of this being hard. I’m tired of feeling exhausted. I feel weak and spent and tired of living outside my comfort zone. I pray but feel little comfort and struggle but see little result. And a large part of me that running away and hiding under a rock sounds pretty good right now.
But there’s a second part to that verse I quoted earlier. John 16:33 reads, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart because I have overcome the world.” I am following a good God who has already seized victory and offers perfect peace. Nothing is impossible with him. I have not been promised an easy life, but I have been promised victory.
So, for now, that means more struggling and trusting that I am not alone in this. I cannot achieve anything by myself, but with Jesus, this is possible. At least, this is what I must continue to remind myself. As a verse in Mark states: “I believe, help me in my unbelief.” God, I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief. If you’re reading this, please pray for me. I am struggling, and in that reflecting the one who struggled for me (Heb. 12). And in that I do believe that there will be a harvest. I was reminded today of a great verse in Hebrews: “So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet, so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.” I am tired, weak, and lame right now. But in him, I hope that I can become strong.
Scroll down to check out three amazing short films by Rick Mereki. He says of the films:
"3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films…..
"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see"
"It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him."
"Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise"
"It is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls."
- Excerpts from Hebrews 11, 10, and 7 (respectively)