Feeling worn, at the end of August, after a busy month. Anyone? I not only feel physically worn, but also emotionally thin.

Life is hectic, with just the stuff of life, but then there are the relationships, and the myriad of strings and pulls and pushes and cuts at the heart.

When friends forsake or judge or belittle (or think themselves higher and better)… when others behave unfairly– no matter how often these things happen, a person still has to stop and find truth in God’s word. I tell myself and my kids these hardships are building the inner man.

My kids are not exempt to the pain in this world, they’ve had their share of difficulties. And it is building their inner man, when unfair things happen, when other adults are unfair or rude, or when other kids are likewise mean-spirited, and other challenges occur.

We’ve been there.

And yet I see around me others (usually youth) who have not experienced much hardship in their lives. What is the fruit of the lack of hardship? I see shallowness — a lack of depth, a lack of compassion, a lack of kindness and understanding. If parents have shielded a child from hardship, or if difficulties have not yet come along one’s path,  well, that child is going to have to learn sometime what hardship really is. There is an attitude of “I know”…. as opposed to, “I’m learning. God is teaching me.”

I once met a woman who admitted she had not had much hardship in her life… and indeed her biggest concerns were specific things regarding her appearance. Mind you, she was a beautiful young woman, and I can say with almost certainly most of us would agree there was nothing wrong with her appearance. But, as she put it, she “just didn’t like what God had done.” Her thighs were bigger than her sister’s (and there was no need of her to complain). There was a shallowness to her concerns– it was “all about me”. A lack of contentment and gratitude had left her looking in the mirror, blinded to the gifts that were already there. 

Yet I can do the same. I can be focused on the difficulties, the challenges, and see the empty space in the cup. What I think I’m missing out on seems to loom ahead of me, instead of the obvious blessings.

I see Facebook bringing out the malicious side of young people.  It’s the subtle ones that are the worst. You can’t tell by just looking… but I tell you, those who are the targets, they can tell. Moms can tell. Discerning adults can tell. Do the young people think we are getting fooled? We see right through the superficial facade.

So, in the midst of these storms, I find myself hanging onto God and His truths. Sometimes I’m barely holding on. I ask Him for patience, as I wait for the storms to pass. I ask him for understanding. I ask him for wisdom. I ask him to redeem the situation. I ask him for truth. I ask him to lead me. I ask him to speak to me. I ask him to walk with me.  I ask him for something better. If the situation is failing, I ask him for something 100 times better than the situation. If we’ve been rejected, I ask for 1000 acceptances. If we’ve been hurt, I ask for thousands of kindnesses– to be given and received. If we’ve been walked on, I ask for grace and compassion not to do the same to others– and for Him to redeem what was cast down. He is and He can. He is the God of Yes… the keeper of promises. Adonai, He is El Roi…  He is the God who sees. Nothing escapes His attention. His gaze. His eyes. He sees all. He knows. My God is the God who knows.  He is Jehovah Shammah, the God who is always there, my companion.

Really, who else can be all of that and do all of that?

Just God. God can.