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Faith, hope, and joy

The early sunrises are a bit intimidating when a long day lies ahead. My persistent fear of being used up and exhausted wakes up early, too. Yet, even though I'm tempted to mistrust it, something in me looks forward to the day. Sometimes hope breaks through the Red Rover lineup.

Lots of new things for friends this weekend: Seth & Adrianne married yesterday way up in Vanderhoof, BC, Zack & Gala welcomed their third son into the world, and Ben & Sara were sent home from the hospital, still pregnant with their first son and thankful for God's goodness in keeping him inside a bit longer (they went in for pre-term labor last week at 33 weeks). Thinking about all of their joy, I'm struck by the beauty of faith. We live in an age and culture that exalts the struggle and messiness of belief, and sometimes I forget how beautiful and compelling it is when people actually believe.

That's not to minimize the reality, importance, and beauty of struggling.* It's just so refreshing to see trust in God shining through in joy, not because of denial based in fear, but because God is truly worthy of our trust, and there's a freedom that comes with doing so. That faith is a gift from Him, and I want to look for it more often—inside and out.


*Blogging about faith and beauty almost requires such a disclaimer, which makes me a little sad that faith can't be simply proclaimed as beautiful these days. But I digress, hence the footnote.

Comments

Man, was i ever pissy when i wrote this.

I'm feeling better now. But I still don't think it's beautiful to struggle.



I liked it. Maybe because I'm so regularly pissy.

The Seattle version of post-modern culture (may be more widespread) has a strong "embrace the struggle" thread running through it, and I think it's often a good thing. But there's a different kind of beauty that comes with just embracing joy, and I love that, too. It's OK to struggle, but honestly, it's also OK to be over it in favor of faith, hope, and joy. That's, of course, not always an either-or proposition, but I think all the struggle-embracing marginalizes the latter beauty sometimes. And we need that beauty, and it truly is beautiful.
I am familiar with the "embrace the struggle". It's almost become meaningless to me.

I don't embrace it. I don't like struggle. I try to embrace the Lord when I'm struggling. Like I was yesterday. I embraced the struggle the day before yesterday - which could also be called, "wallowing in it".

It sounds romantic and like something you see in a movie that makes you cry (most movies make me cry - I'm a sap). But I think it's silly. TISI.

I know we are to be thankful in all things. I'm thankful when I go through a struggle, because I know there is a God who gets me through it. I am thankful because I know there is a better day ahead. I am thankful because good things come out of struggle, and God never wastes pain. But I am not thankful for the struggle itself and I don't want to embrace it. I want to get out from under it.

I like what you said about it being okay to be over it in favor of faith, hope and joy. I don't hear that often enough.
The need to "get out from under it" is the need to be saved, and maybe it's easier sometimes to pretend we don't want this anymore, recrafting our "faith" accordingly.

Sometimes I wonder if we're so afraid that God can't or won't save us that we don't hope for it anymore and don't notice when and where it actually happens—not all the time, and not always fully on this side of heaven, but it does happen! When we stop, God can seem distant and/or small because we made Him that way.
Probably.

Or maybe people just think it sounds cool.