One of the greatest things my grandmother ever did for me was give me permission to cry. You see she was with me when I received a phone call out of nowhere that ripped open a wound I thought was long closed; I was so hurt in that moment but I thought I had to be strong, to not show what I was really feeling. When she asked me about it, I couldn’t even speak; when it became clear that I couldn’t even answer the questions she was asking me, she said the words I will never forget, “sometimes Kheshana, you just have to cry”. The flood gates of my soul opened, and I cried for longer than I can remember, but she held me as long as I cried. I don’t know if I ever even said what I was feeling, not sure I even had the words at that time in my life. But I do know that giving yourself and other people the space they need to unravel sometimes is exactly what we need.
But it’s not okay to suffer in silence…
Permission to Admit when You are not Okay
Let me paint the picture for you like this…
Time after time scripture tells us that living in this sin cursed world will afford us many opportunities to suffer:
“In this world you will have trouble…” John 16:33
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.” I Pet 4:12
“How frail is humanity! How short is life, how full of trouble.” Job 14:1
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romams 3:23
I’ll have to break this one down for you in the original language…”fall short” is written in imperfect tense which is a tense we don’t often encounter in the English language. In school I bet you remember learning about present tense -what’s happening right now, past tense what already happened and is done. And of course future tense- what will happen in the future. The word sin is translated from a word that means to fall short like an arrow that missed the mark or a basket ball that didn’t quite make it to the hoop. Well in the imperfect tense, it’s like even if you’re no longer a 3 year old that’s barely getting the ball in the air, even if you are a full grown adult shooting from the free throw line, you are constantly shooting air balls. As people, we will always fall short of the mark of perfection which is Christ. Periodt. Furthermore, everyone in the world is just like that, no one is ever going to spell HORSE so they will cause pain. We will experience hurt, seasons of darkness, drought etc. just by virtue of the fact that we are not in Heaven. So, we’re going to take hits. Some of them will be a result of our own actions; some of them the actions of others, and some of them just the fault of being in the world where we will be keenly aware that we are NOT in HEAVEN.
It’s not okay to stay there…
The Result of Acknowledging that You are not Okay
In much the same way my grandmother did for me that day, Christ is there with open arms. But even more so, he has a plan and cure for what ails us.
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
He gives Beauty for ashes, Strength for fear, gladness for mourning and festive praise where there was once despair. No one is running around trying to give strength to the strong.
He mends broken hearts often through other people.
Jesus is the Balm in Gilead.
Jesus’s Plan When We’re Not Okay
But God demonstrates (present tense remember that) His love toward us in that While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. Rom 5:8
…But He gives us His peace John 16:33
… we should rejoice when we suffer for Christ’s I Pet 4:12
But God always equals hope. He is our strength every place that we are weak.