Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting Through the Tough Stuff

Sometimes when we are hurting inside, it feels like there is nobody else in the world who could possibly understand our pain, our turmoil, our anxiety. In some of my lowest seasons, when the hurt just wouldn't subside or let go of me, I have had several well-meaning folks tell me to just get over it or don't think about it. Others have told me that my feelings are not justified when these episodes linger too long for their convenience. However, tough struggles in life are, for most of us, a constant presence in our lives. Sometimes we have the skills necessary to process what is going on, to deal with the circumstances with strength and courage, and then to get on with living. Other times, we have trouble going on and moving forward. It's kind of like an essential piece of who we are has been taken away, never to return. In these situations, coming back to some level of equilibrium takes time. It also takes a level of compassion from those in our lives to put up with us while we heal or cope or figure things out.

In Getting Through the Tough Stuff, author Charles Swindoll takes us through a sampling of some of the tough stuff that we all face in our lives. This includes the tough stuff of temptation, anxiety, shame, divorce, inadequacy, and death. One important aspect of survival is realizing that everyone must deal with these issues in their lives; nobody is immune or excused or above the fray of life's struggles and difficulties. Another aspect of survival that separates the Christian from all others, is that we have a heavenly father who is always present, who will always support us, and who will always be there to give us light and hope. Sure, life will be, at times, harsh, unfair, cruel, and painful, but we need to cling to Christ closest through our darkest hours so that we can keep a foothold on survival today and then progress toward living tomorrow.