Friday’s Lies: Life is Too Hard

I'm Too ___. (2)

Have you ever felt like giving up?

This lie – that life is just too hard – that it’s time to give up – is a thought that invades my mind, body, and spirit way to often. From time to time, I kick it off and go a while without ever telling myself this weakening untruth. But then there are days when I continue to tell myself the wrong story, marketing myself toward an inner audience that expects my failure rather than my triumph. I run a race, telling myself the whole time that I am going to lose.

I want to believe the truth, but I believe the lie.

I want to believe this: Life can be hard sometimes, but it is never too hard. I can always make it from today into tomorrow.

The truth is that I can make it. And you can make it. We can make it through this. We can make it from today into tomorrow. Yesterday, for me, was not one of my greatest days. My husband and I have been at a ski lodge at Mt. Ruapehu for the past few days with his dad and a friend. It seems like very one there has so much energy and they are quite fit and active. I mean, they are there to ski. We have to do chores in the lodge, and I managed to do them the first couple of days. But my husband had to do double chores (his chores as well as mine) for the last days. It’s hard not to give up when your problems are affecting others.

But it is not too hard.

My life is not what I thought it would look like, and I cannot change it. I get sick a lot, and can only do a small percentage of what I want to do – and even less of what I dream that I could do. I should at least be able to do some dishes or cook some food, but my body just shuts down. So I tell myself that it’s too hard. It’s. Just. Too. Hard.

But then I rode the ski lift down with my bags on our way off the mountain. The sun was going down, and the majesty and wonder of volcanic mountains and hazy oceans far away captured my spirit. The cold snowy air wrapped around me as I glided slowly down past the rocky crags and caverns of white-ness. And the fog in my mind lifted so that I could see the truth as far and wide as I could see New Zealand stretched out in front of me: Life is beautiful. My mouth opened and I began to sing an old, old hymn:

“We all have to figure out if there is or is not a higher power out there. We can't be scareO Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the works Thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

I came across this ancient text from the book of Psalms after that, when we had come to our cabin on the other side of Ruapehu:

I love the LORD, because he has heard
My voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
Therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
The pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the LORD:
“O LORD, I pray, deliver my soul!”

 

Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
Our God is merciful.
The LORD preserves the simple;
When I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

 

For you have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
My feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
Psalm 116:1-9

It may be hard, and we may suffer for a while. It may be anguish sometimes. We may have to call out, crying out with tears falling on our pillows, the heartache of broken-ness and alone-ness flowing out of us.

But this is the truth we hold on to, daily: We can always, always make it through until tomorrow. We can always make a choice to keep going, waiting for those times when you can glide through good things – when life is beautiful rather than hard.

I choose to walk with the Lord in the land of the living.

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