We all need those friends who can see right through us. You know the ones I’m talking about. Those friends won’t buy the fake answers. If you try and give them an, “Oh, I’m fine,” they get that look in their eye–the one that sees right through you.
Now maybe your life is full of good relationships. Maybe you’ve got family members and friends checking in with you all the time. But that’s not the case for all of us. In fact, this year has been hard on a lot of relationships. For many, 2020 was revealing, full of loss and hard conversations.
As the Body of Christ, we are called to be close to one another. So allow me to be that friend for you today. How are you? Not the party answer or the professional answer or even the Sunday morning answer. How are you really? How are you doing as the world comes out of a pandemic? How are you doing in your relationships? How are you doing with the Lord?
Some of those questions might be hard to answer, and that’s all right. Take your time. Because, friends, it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay if your life feels frustrating or chaotic. Admitting that is not a lack of faith or an attack against God. Sometimes we feel like saying our circumstances aren’t good is the same as saying that God is not good. That’s not true. God is good, and because he is good, we can be honest with him.
The Scriptures are honest. The psalmist, when writing Psalm 42, gave an honest picture of where they were.
Why are you downcast, oh my soul,
And why are you disquieted within me?
But his honesty turned to praise…
Hope in God
For I shall yet praise him,
The help of my countenance, and my God.
When we are able to tell God how it’s really going, we are inviting him in to heal us. We are inviting him in to turn our mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11) and to resurrect the things we thought were dead.
So if you are feeling less-than-okay today, that’s okay. God wants to meet you there. One of the practical ways that has helped me in times of chaos, frustration, or helplessness is consider my own control. What can I control? Can I give that friend a call? Could I go for a walk with God? Maybe I need a good night’s sleep. Then I consider what is out of my control. (I’d make a list, but let’s be real…it’s a long list.)
I ask for the Lord’s guidance on the things within my control. (I like to call them the nobs on my side of the wall.) And I trust the Almighty God of the Universe for the things outside of my control. Does that fix all my problems? Nope. But it brings me closer to the Lord, and fills me with the peace of his presence. Brothers and sister, that’s the best place to be.