Congratulations, you. You made it through the first week of 2019 and yep, all of 2018 too.

The good days, bad days, easy days and hard days.

And yeah, even the really, really hard ones.

All of it. You made it through. You’re doing great.

Oh, and if today’s one of those really, really hard ones?

You’ll make it through this too.

I’m not going to offer up any trite or hopeful words about hard things. You know the ones?

“This will make you stronger.”

“There’s always a silver lining…you just have to look for it.”

And my personal favorite: “God never gives you more than you can handle.”

Here’s the thing: difficult days and terrible things are painful. Period. And yes, I know that God will work them for our good, possibly by making us stronger. Or more empathic, or patient, or more grateful for the good in our lives. Or something else that in His wisdom He knows we need.

And yes, it’s true that God will work all things for good, but I just can’t believe that He’s the one giving us the painful things. It would be totally out of character for Him. Jesus told Phillip “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus, who healed. Jesus, who loved. Jesus, who fed the hungry and raised the dead and opened the eyes of the blind.

Who never, not once in the entire account of his ministry, handed out suffering to someone he thought needed it.

Suffering isn’t God-given at all. Mostly it’s human-given. Yeah, we humans seem to do a really good job of hurting each other, and creation, and ourselves.

And yes, I know the saying about silver linings, but the thing is – life’s tragedies are not clouds. They are tragedies. Some of them have no lining – silver or otherwise – attached. And I’m pretty sure that God knows that.

I’m pretty sure that God knows that things that hurt us…hurt us.

And I’m pretty sure that God knows that some things really are more than we can handle. But nothing is more than He can handle.

But here’s the rock-solid truth about every single hard day – God is with us in them.

Emmanuel – God with us.

With us on the good days. On the boring days. On the rushing-around-to-get-everything-done days.

On the hard days, too.

And if today’s one of those last?

You’ll make it through.

You’ve got Someone right there in it with you.

You might not be strong enough, but don’t worry.

He is.


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With God all things are possible. (~Matthew 19:26) Do not be afraid, I am with you. (~Isaiah 41:10)