Why do I cry?
Life is real. Life is a struggle. Life is hard. Life is short. Life is good. Life is random. Life is precious. Life is long. Life doesn’t make sense. Life is beautiful. Life is sad. Life is joyful.
Life is too many things.
Into life comes both hardships and blessings. When hardships come, I can either forget the blessings or choose to remember. When blessings come, I can either forget the hardships or choose to remember. And there is a big difference between the times when I remember and the times when I forget. When I remember past hardships as I am blessed, then I am that much more grateful and in awe of my current blessings, taking nothing for granted. When I remember my blessings as I am in the midst of hardship, then I still find reasons to be grateful, and the hardships are not as overwhelming as they would have been. In other words, when I call to remembrance past blessings or past hardships, I am blessed; no matter my current state, what I face, or what I receive or do not receive; I am grateful in spite of those things.
Why is it so hard to remember blessings and be grateful when I am in hardship?
When hardship seems overwhelming, tears cover my past and current blessings. It is easy to be blinded by sorrow and self-pity, but more than sorrow and self-pity, there is a spirit of hopelessness that blinds me to blessings. Hope is a seed that, once planted, grows into a joy and peace that remains steadfast even when the rains come. And when the rains come and I think hope washes away along with all blessings, then I am lying to myself; Hope has never left; He remains, waiting patiently for me to take hold. When tears run dry and my spirit is left empty, a whisper of truth comes to my ear; “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
The comfort in that verse is in the first three words, “Come to Me.” No human being on earth can comfort me with the perfect words that give me hope and a purpose. Hope does not come from an abundance of words, but from Jesus Christ alone. And He said, “Come to me,” even though He knew I would sin and fail Him. Only Jesus has the power to comfort me, because He, too, endured suffering, but arose the victor. His situation was truly hopeless; there was no one to rescue Him and no words of comfort could stem the tide of suffering and pain. He chose to suffer for me and for all of mankind, though self-pity and fear should have logically kept Him alive.
Jesus chose to lay down His life, to die, that much is true, but a greater truth that I must cling to is that He came back to life. No sorrow, suffering, or sin could keep Him in the grave. He rose to life anew. And though scars of His suffering still remain, they serve to testify to the truth that death and sorrow no longer have the victory. That is why I fall on Jesus, because, though life is many things, Jesus is Life, Hope, Peace, Rest, Joy, Truth, and so much more. And no matter what my circumstance, He never leaves, nor does He change. With Christ in my heart, I will always have a reason to rejoice and be grateful.
But why is it so hard to remember hardships and be grateful when I am blessed?
When blessings are all I see, it is easy to get caught up in euphoria, being blinded by tears of joy. But joy itself is not life, neither is euphoria. The world scratches and claws for a piece of happiness or for a few moments of euphoria, but those feelings are fleeting. If my happiness is founded merely on current blessings, then it is founded on shifting sands that will completely disappear when the next big wave hits. In effect, blessings in my life become an idol, something that is worshipped and reverenced, the rock on which I trust. But where do those blessings come from? Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no changing, neither shadow of turning. Of His own will begat He us with the Word of Truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. (James 1:17-18)
If I am blessed, it is not because I am good or deserving of anything good, but because God chose to bless me. And if it is joy I seek, then I know it cannot be founded in the blessings here; my joy must be founded in the One who holds blessings and pours them out so freely on everyone. Even if blessings dry up and sorrows increase, my joy remains steadfast when I trust in my King. Jesus holds for me a treasure in Heaven that no hardship here can touch. And I am called to rejoice, even in my sufferings, because, just like Christ, my sufferings work for me an eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17). Joy itself is a blessing from God, but I cannot realize full joy unless I realize that being the firstfruits of His creatures means that I am daily offered up to the King as a living sacrifice. I am not my own, but Christ’s. If I am blessed, then it is for the glory of Christ. If I am in hardship, then it is for the glory of Christ. And no matter what I face or do not face, my life is for the glory of the One Who made me, called me, and loves me so passionately. Sometimes, that truth is hard to remember, especially when I seemingly have everything I could ever want, but God is patient with me, allowing me to find out for myself that He is the only One I ever need.
Why do I cry?
God is real. God is victorious. God is wise. God is eternal. God is good. God is random. God is awesome. God is patient. God doesn’t make sense. God is beautiful. God is truth. God is joy.
God is so many things.
But no word or abundance of words can be God. Every word I speak to describe my Savior is founded in the finite and the ever changing language of mankind, so the words I write and speak can never serve to define or constrain Him. All He is does not depend upon what I see, feel, touch, or think. He is beyond my understanding, yet He stepped into life to show me what life is. God is good, faithful, loving, and true. He will watch over me and bring me to Heaven’s shores. All I need do is trust, obey, and pour out my life for the One Who poured out His life for mine. I am lost. I am broken. But I am lost in the arms of my Savior, and I am broken before His holiness and loving kindness toward me. Jesus is too good to me, so I will let the tears fall and let my voice be lifted up in praise and adoration, because if I am silent, then the rocks would cry out, and that would just be terrifying.
I wrote this from my perspective, but I pray that you will read it from your perspective.
Honestly, everyone goes through hardships, and most people feel like they are on an island to themselves, where no one will ever be able to understand them. Perhaps no one you know here on earth will ever fully understand your story and your struggles, but God understands and cares so deeply for you. The struggles you face, the reasons you cry, He knows them all in intimate detail, and He wants you to rise a victor, just like He did. So take the words on this page as a jumping off point, where you jump off the ledge of fear, self-pity, and sorrow and fall into the arms of a Savior Who loves you. Nothing I can say or write will convince you, but I pray that the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ would encourage you to take that step of faith and find what I have found.
Jesus is the answer for the world today. Above Him, there’s no other; Jesus is the Way.