Living Lies, Avoiding Truth
No one wants to have problems in life. That’s just simple human nature. We don’t want to experience health problems, encounter difficulties in a relationship, experience financial insecurity, nor learn our kids are doing things they shouldn’t. There is nothing wrong with wanting to sail through life with as few challenges as possible. But as we all know, that’s just not the way life goes for most of us. It’s a given that we will hit many bumps in the road in our journey through life. What isn’t a given is our willingness to acknowledge our bumps, both to ourselves and to others.
Just as it is human nature to want to avoid problems, it is also human nature to deny them when they happen. Some of us deny our problems because it is our way of coping and surviving. Yet the peace of avoidance and denial is not true peace. Worse yet, denying a problem denies us the opportunity to grow spiritually because our spirituality is determined by what we do with our pain. Spirituality is about transformation. When we don’t transform our pain, we end up transmitting it. We transmit it to others, and we pass on the opportunity for growth that God is putting in front of us.
So how do we ensure our problems transform us? This is where our faith comes in to play. By faith, I don’t mean participating in the rituals that are an important part of most faiths. Instead I mean truly trusting God. Not trusting Him to solve or eliminate our problems, but trusting Him to give us the grace to hold our troubles, accept them and navigate our way through them.
Every time I have faced a painful or difficult situation and have deliberately, consciously and sincerely placed it in God’s hands, I have felt much more peace that I ever thought possible. In addition, the situations eventually resolved themselves in ways that may not have been what I originally hoped for, but with hindsight, I could see value in the outcome beyond what I could have initially imagined.
When we turn something over to God, we are not really washing our hands of it. Instead, we are entering into a partnership with God. We trust He is as invested in the situation as we are, and we continually look for His guidance on how to move forward.
When we approach our struggles and pain in this manner – first by acknowledging and accepting our pain, second by turning it over to God and finally by working in partnership with Him, we not only find a way to hold our anxiety or fear about the situation in check, but we find ourselves progressing on our path toward holiness.