Has Life Always Been Good to You or Do You Live in Quiet Desperation

Life often does not turn out as one had hoped

has been said that many people live their lives in quiet desperation.
Youthful idealism has this glowing vision of the future, coloured with
radiant optimism. And then real life comes along! At a fiftieth high
school reunion a woman asked me, ‘Don, has life been good to you?’ No
one had ever asked me that before. I had to think a minute. Then I
said, ‘No, life has not always been good, but the Lord has always been
good’. Tragedies do come in life; there can be gut-wrenching
heartaches. Your marriage may fall apart. Your spouse confronts you
with the words, ‘I no longer love you, I have found some one else; I
want a divorce’! It is as if you were kicked in the stomach. Your whole
world falls apart. Or your teenage daughter comes home and confesses
with tears, ‘Mum and Dad, I am pregnant!’, and the man involved has no
desire to marry her. After years of faithful service, your employer
calls you into his office, and announces, ‘I am sorry but we will have
to let you go’. A job that you thought was secure has vanished like the
morning mist. Or the doctor tells you quietly, ‘I am sorry to tell you
but your wife has terminal cancer. We can do nothing for her. Take her
home and love her while she is still here’. And you now have to go
through the agony of seeing the one who has been a faithful wife and
borne your children waste away and finally die.

Life demands a response, both from us and others

life is not always good to us. But how do we respond? We may become
angry and bitter, angry with God for allowing this to happen. With Job’s wife we may cry out, ‘Curse God and die!’,
Job 2. 9. We may enter into a deep valley of depression, drowning in
the depths of self-pity. A lady friend of ours died suddenly at home.
She was a dear Christian. Her husband said, ‘Well, she has her wish now; she has wanted to die’. Grief over her children had tormented her soul for years. She just wanted to die and to go to be with the Lord.

life is not always good nor pleasant. Hopefully there will be
Christians who will rally around you to sustain you with their love and
prayers. They have come to know ‘the
God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may
be able to comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort with
which we ourselves are comforted of God’,
2 Cor. 1. 3-4. If any part of the human body knows an injury, the whole
body musters its resources to bring healing. So it should be with the
local body of Christians, the assembly. We are exhorted, ‘Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ’, Gal. 6. 2.

When all else fails God is the Ultimate Resource in every event

then ultimately we must turn to God Himself, cry out to Him and cling
to Him. David returned to find his home village in smoking ruins, his
family and goods plundered. It was a low point for him. ‘Now David was
greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him. But David
strengthened himself in the Lord his God’, 1 Sam. 30. 6. Jehovah was
his God and he would claim His love, protection and blessing. David
could say: ‘Preserve me, O God, for in you I put my trust’, Ps. 16. 1.
At times life can be confusing and painful. Again Asaph could write,
I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me: until I
went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end’, Ps. 73.

Life is an issue we need to live with

The time comes when one must accept the reality of the tragedy in life and go on living.
Some seek to escape the reality of their lives and withdraw into their
own heads and live in a world of fantasy. Such may end up in mental
hospitals, useless to God and to man. We must face reality and think
truthfully, Phil. 4. 8. Begin to live for others and forget yourself.
Then you will begin to heal from your wounds. There are many lost,
hurting people around us. Reach out to them. Your suffering has
uniquely equipped you to help others, and remember our God keeps our
tears in His bottle and one day will wipe away all tears from our eyes.
Our Father will welcome all His children home and kiss their tears
away. Thanks be to God!