Have you ever been guilty of thinking that if life is full of pressure and frustration then you must be doing something wrong?
We live in a “don’t rock the boat” culture. The idea that if you’ll just “do these things, then life will go well for you” falsely fills our minds, even if we don’t say it out loud. So, I’ve frequently struggled with the pressures and frustrations of life and have been at a loss of how to deal with them as they come. Can you relate?
The biggest comfort to me has been to look at scripture and realize that almost every account is of real people who had real frustrations and real pressures. Real “boat rocking” lives, if you will.
Noah’s life’s work was literally on a boat that others scoffed at.
Esther was an orphan, who lived as a foreigner in a land, where her people were not always respected.
Joshua fought battle after battle courageously to lead an unruly group of people.
Moses dealt with a dysfunctional family as he led masses of people, who were aimlessly wandering.
Joseph was sold as a slave.
David, God’s anointed, had to run for his life more than once.
Hosea was told to marry a prostitute who would leave him repeatedly.
Job lost everything.
That’s just a small list of the many stories of Biblical characters, who dearly loved the Lord, but felt enormous amounts of pressure. The pressure or frustration that they felt wasn’t wrong and neither is yours as you live surrendered before the Lord. It’s actually part of being obedient and part of living on this side of heaven.
Some days, when pressures mount, I long to just sit at the Lord’s feet in his presence. I can imagine that there will be a day when I sing all day long and the silly cares of this world will be but a distant memory. My face will radiate from being in the mere presence of The Almighty and I will know what it really means to “rest”.
But that’s not today. Today, I have the opportunity to seek him from this side of heaven, from a fallen place, where there are loads of cares and many people to love. Today is a day that I can sit in his presence from the comfort of my own home, even if I’m sitting in a sea of toys with children who are vying for my attention. I can find satisfaction in knowing that he is delighted when his children come desperately to him for help and so I will. I can imagine him cheering me on as I fold another load of laundry or make another meal. I can know that his love for me doesn’t change, even when the world around me does. I can lean into him when I’m frustrated and he’ll speak words of truth that will bring peace to my heart. When the boat rocks, I trust that I won’t be swallowed up by the waves, because he holds those very rough seas in the palm of his hand. And so, I can’t think of any place I’d rather be, today.