I really want to keep this blog upbeat. I want it to be an encouragement for you, my readers, because I know life is hard. It does no good to pretend that life is hunky dory and without trouble. We live in fallen world and the things that happen in this world make NO sense outside of the context of the Creator. We can, however, have Shalom and joy in the midst of this world’s troubles. But in order to do that, we need to understand the big picture of what is going on in this life.
Therefore, I want to be real with you about some of my struggles, while also sharing what keeps me going in this life. I want to point you to our Creator because I have discovered that the only true, lasting joy to be found is by being in relationship with Him. Every happiness this world has to offer is fleeting at best. Oh, it might seem as if it will last for a very long time, but it never does.
I remember having pointed out to me that happiness depends upon happenings. Notice the same root for both words? Happiness is dependent upon things going on in our lives, in events and people and so forth. Sadness can push happiness away.
Joy, on the other hand, is deeply rooted in our connection to the Creator. True joy is deep within and not easily shaken. We can feel sadness and joy at the same time because joy is more than a superficial emotion. Joy is based upon what we know is ultimately coming. It is based upon who we know we are in the Creator. It is based upon understanding our Creator’s plans and how we fit into them.
Because we have chosen to rebel against the Creator’s plans we have wars and strife and illness and disabilities and evil of all sorts. We are broken people living in a broken world and it causes a lot of heartache and grief. Even in the best of situations, there is grief. Loved ones will eventually die. There is no way around it. All the death and heartache in this world tells us that something is wrong. When our bodies hurt, it is because something is wrong. When our hearts hurt, it is because something is wrong. When the world hurts, it is because something is wrong. The fault lies with us.
I know we all want to think that we are better than the next person, but the next person is not the standard…not the measuring rod. G-d is the standard. He is perfect and we are not. He has given us teachings to follow, guidelines to live by and even the very best of us have not followed them perfectly. Every time we fail to follow them, we bring more heartache into the world. It is impossible for us to obey Him perfectly. That is why He gave us a way to “make up”, as it were, for our wrongdoings. It is not a matter of balancing the scale. That is impossible. Perfection is the standard…period. But, and this is a very important “but”, He made a way for us to have fellowship with Him again.
When Adam and Eve disobeyed His teaching, they broke fellowship with Him. Up to that point, they had walked openly with Him. After that, they tried to hide themselves from Him. They lost the privilege of living in the garden of ‘Eden and the world was changed forever. We humans are still trying to recreate that lost garden, still trying to make this world a paradise. But we can’t…not as long as evil exists in the world and in our hearts. We are going to have to wait for the Creator to remake that garden. And when He does…it will be the most beautiful place. Best of all, He will be there and we will, once again, be able to walk with Him face to face.
How I long for that day!
Here is a bit of beauty from this world. Imagine how the new ‘Eden will be!