We ask our children when we pick them up, “Did you have fun?”
We ask our spouses when they return from work, “Did you have a good day?”
There’s nothing inherently wrong with those questions, but they each have as their main concern the person’s enjoyment of that which occurred. If those are the only questions we’re asking, then we’re missing the best ones we could ask. What about “Were you a blessing today?” “Did you point people to Jesus?” “Did you offer hope today?”
God’s main concern isn’t our happiness, yet we often (inadvertently) train our children to think it is. Happiness is temporary, fleeting, dependent on the circumstances or the moment. No, He’s concerned with our holiness. Because when we are holy, we ascribe glory to Him which is the entire reason we were created.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said,
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup…”
Jesus – son of the Most High God – asked God to provide another way! He knew the next chapter in His story was going to be a painful one, and in His humanness didn’t enjoy pain and suffering any more than the next guy. Yet in His holiness, He said,
“…yet not my will, but Yours, be done.” both Luke 22:42
Jesus underwent terrible pain – worse than we can ever imagine as he took on the sin of the world – and chose to give glory to His Father.
You see, God sees the big picture in our lives, and He can use anything to make us more like Him. Failure, hunger, depression, heartache, wayward children, past abortions, divorce, abuse, abandonment, unfaithfulness, betrayal or littler every day things like unkindness from a friend or a terrible day of homeschooling… Don’t get me wrong – He doesn’t cause any of the sin of this world, but He will redeem it in our lives if we let Him. All of these struggles that come as a result of this fallen world cause us to run to Him, desperately cling to Him, and sometimes even to need Him for our very next breath. And that makes us holy.
My husband and I lived in a season of infertility. (The Lord has yet to give me more “fruit of my womb.”) I wanted more babies, but I learned I wanted His best for me more than I wanted to grow that little one. That unsatisfied desire for more babies made me more holy. Needing God, submitting to God, allowing Him to mold us into the beautiful creation He intends for us to be… all of those make us holy.
And when we’re holy, we can give Him glory even when we are drowning in the sadness of infertility.
When we’re holy, we can give Him glory by being patient and kind – even when our growing-up-family baggage is rearing its ugly head and wreaking havoc in our marriage.
When we’re holy, we can give Him glory by waiting on Him as our Provider – even when we aren’t sure how we will pay that next electric bill.
When we’re holy, we can give Him glory by offering forgiveness – even when someone we trusted betrays us.
When we’re holy, we can give Him glory by recklessly trusting Him – even when we’re fearful of what tomorrow might bring.
When we’re holy, we can give Him glory by offering the gift of hope – even when we feel hopeless.
Unless you’re somehow exempt, life is going to be hard at one point or another.
There is still hope in this.
And hope breathes life and purpose into the heartache of the present struggle.
I can choose to use this struggle well, or I can choose to waste it.
I want to use it.
I want to be more like Him.
I want to be holy.
I want to give Him glory.
What is your heartache? Will you join me?