We are all broken and bruised and imperfect but trying our best every day to keep it all together. Serving our God. Nurturing our marriages. Raising our children. Honoring our parents. Maintaining our friendships. Loving our people. Mending our bodies and resting when possible. Working jobs. Furthering careers. Running households. Managing finances.
And yet, so often, we make it look so easy, don’t we? We work diligently to camouflage our messiness. Many times it seems easier to just hide the ugly reality rather than simply ask for help. So we quietly worry and silently struggle with situations rather than confess and acknowledge that we simply cannot do it all alone. We sit anxiously in silence not knowing the answers.
But the truth is that life isn’t always easy. In fact, I honestly can think of very little in my life right now that is easy. Looking to the world, things are busy and expensive and in short supply. Unavailable. Out of stock. Uncertain. No toilet paper. Reduced work force affecting grocery stores and fast food establishments. This world is growing more and more out of control. Personally, I am challenged and often disappointed by situation and by people. I also really get fatigued. My body gets tired, and my mind gets tired. At times, I feel overwhelmed and helpless. However, this is not always seen on the outside.
Most of us can and will admit that life is difficult, no matter how we make it look. We all need our friends and family, our VILLAGE. And we need to stop judging each other and dividing . We need to stop being critical of each other and replace it with understanding and patience – we are all on the same team. We need to show more love and care and protect each other as much as possible.
Throughout the years, I have known people with seemingly perfect lives, perfect parents, perfect kids, perfect dogs, and even perfect beautiful homes. They have the best jobs, and seem to never struggle a moment. And those individuals are certainly fortunate. At least so I have thought. Although, if we are honest, are any of us untouched by the problems of the world?
In my opinion, the rub of the problem with people living the “perfect” life is the lack of genuineness. More importantly, those living the “perfect” life with the perfect family, spouse, children, home, car, and job is that, the down side of living in what you want to demonstrate as a “perfect world” is that in all of their perfection, those perfect acquaintances are also largely unapproachable. The more perfect they profess to be, the less approachable they are to the rest of us. It would be too intimidating and embarrassing to ask for help with my own mistake, problem, or question. I would feel self-conscious of my personal flaws if I had to approach that perfect person.
The truth is that we all have hardships, disappointments, and problems, whether transparent or hidden. We all make mistakes. Some of us will lose our spouses or other loved ones to death, others may encounter serious marital problems possibly leading to divorce, which is world changing. Some will experience financial and relationship hardships. Sometimes these problems are brought on by our own actions and sometimes not. Sometimes we have no control at all over the circumstances of our life. By the very nature of life, we will lose loved ones one way or another, whether death, divorce, sickness, distance, or strife. Sometimes we are brought to our knees by our own health problems. If you are reading this and have managed to avoid these serious losses or conflicts, you are fortunate. However, the time will inevitably come at some point. It’s life. It was not meant to be perfect.
If you are struggling today, please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Your pain and burdens are KNOWN by your Creator, by your Father and He LOVES YOU. Be confident that you are loved for the special person that you are. You are unique but yet our God knows you so well that he even knows the number of hairs on your head. Luke 12:7. In Psalm 139, David talks about how the Lord knows him, understanding even his thoughts and being acquainted with all of his ways. David notes that the Lord knows everything about him, and asks where can he go to flee from the Lord’s presence.
Not only does God know you and care for you, but take comfort in knowing that there are others around you that care about you. Sharing your problems and concerns, even your messiest situations, with a trusted friend, spouse, or family member can not only be a significant help to you but when you are genuine and “real” with others, you have no idea the impact you may have on them. While we often do not want to look weak or needy or imperfect in the eyes of those around us, at the same time, that invisible, seemingly protective, wall that we erect could be the very barrier preventing a friend from confiding their own struggle and weaknesses with you. You see, it is so much easier to confide in someone who has been there and may be in a position to more fully understand the problem. I know personally that I have been so afraid of confiding my ugly circumstances in a “perfect” friend or coworker. You end up guarding yourself instead of being able to be open and forthcoming regarding your problems. We all need to worry less about what others think when they know we are not perfect and accept that the only perfect man to ever walk this earth was Jesus.
While we do not necessarily “desire” to look weak or needy or imperfect in the eyes of those around us, remember that the protective wall that we often erect could be the very thing preventing a friend from feeling they can confide their weaknesses and problems in you. This week I challenge you to be real. Be genuine with people and I can assure you that your honesty and ability to open up will not only likely help you but it will be an encouragement to others.
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