It's easy to give up.
Deep down, and sometimes right up on the surface, isn't that what we really want to do?
Don't you just want to quit?
Of course you want to. We all go through difficulties in life, and at some point along the way, the thought goes through our mind that it would be easier to just give up.
Sometimes I find myself wondering why we think this way. What will be easier about running away or "moving on?" Life doesn't get easier just because you give up on something. Do you know what really happens when you give up?
You feel better.
Sometimes you don't even get that benefit from running away.
I think about it, and I think this desire in us to give up--believing that life will be easier--it is the same reason that an addict continues using. Bear with me here. Addicts turn to drugs, alcohol, or sex because they want something to be easier. They want to feel better. They want to forget about their problems. Correct?
But isn't that exactly what we do when we want to quit the very thing that is causing us pain in our lives? For many, we're talking about standing for broken marriages. You think you'll feel better if you just give up your stand and move on with your life. You want to give in to the desire, the pull towards living by what you want to feel, instead of by what will really give you peace.
But what if you're wrong?
What if, by not trying, you never see the blessing, or the ultimate reward that comes from remaining steadfast in your stand?
While I am not a great lover of music by Pink, she has several songs that lyrically I cannot stay away from. Amidst the worldy outlook, they speak to me. The song below draws on the side of pain that some of you are on now. You've been hurt; you've been cheated on; you've been abandoned. But I believe that you can take something deeper from the chorus of this song. You can see it through the eyes of perseverance and what it takes to get through these difficult times in your life. It may be painful, true.
But you won't die.
This--while it feels anything but--is NOT the end of your life as you know it.
It can be just the beginning.
I know that there is a lot of pain that you may feel listening to this song, but I hope that you to see that you can interpret it differently. I don't want you to think for a second that I condone adultery or addiction, or living a life of causing pain to others. What I want you to take from this is that it is the very essence of who we are- as sinners. What Pink meant to be a song about being cheated on and pressing through it anyway, she hit the nail on the head when she said:
"Funny how the heart can be deceiving
More than just a couple times
Why do we fall in love so easy
Even when it's not right"
Has your heart ever been deceived, just as your prodigal's has? I'm not talking about adultery or addiction, though this certainly applies to some of us, myself included.
What about by food?
Or unmet desires?
What do you fall in love with?
The idea of love? The desire for the perfect life, the perfect marriage, the perfect job?
There are a lot of things that we fall in love with that aren't right.
I fell in love so easy, with a person, though I knew it wasn't right. While it is tragic and sin is sin, her words ring so true. The heart IS deceiving. Time and time again. We fall in love with things or people or desires. Even when they are not right for us.
I can promise you that where God's hand is involved, if you press on through the pain, climb the mountain and come through on the other side, you'll be grateful. And you'll see that the worst moments in your life were simply stepping stones into the better life that God has planned for you. He will not let your pain be wasted. He will carry you through it and the blessings will outweigh all the pain and heartache.
But you will never know this, unless you press on.
Unless you keep fighting.
Unless you keep standing.
Unless you try.
I know it's hard.
Right now, while you are in the midst of your pain and what may be the most difficult period of your life, it is so tempting to give up.
What I want to propose is that it won't solve anything. It won't bring you happiness, or the fulfillment you are looking for. That can only be found in God.
Even if giving up makes you feel better temporarily, something about it just doesn't seem right. It isn't right. I know, from experience. I only thought I was happy. For seven years! But it wasn't real. Giving up didn't make things easier. It just provoked more anxiety and fear in me, not to mention the heaviest weight of all: guilt and shame.
If I hadn't stood while my husband battled his addiction to pornography early in our marriage, and if I hadn't fought to recover from living the later years of our marriage steeped in adultery, I wouldn't have learned what I have today. And while tough life lessons have certainly been learned, what I am really talking about is the reward that is on the other side. The blessings that come through persevering.
What I couldn't see or even imagine, when my marriage was buried under rubble, was the immense joy and redemption that was waiting for me. Jason Gray writes,
"On the other side
Where it's easier to see the way His hand provides
Just in time to save the day
And I realize the mountains I was scared to climb
Aren't as big as I thought they were
When I'm on the other side."
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