When Everything Sucks
"You are the light of the world -- like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds spinout for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."
The last two and half weeks have been a whirlwind of sorts and definitely not of the sort that someone looks forward to like the busy adventure of a two-week vacation. It hasn’t even been the sort of whirlwind you experience when you have to study all day and all night for your upcoming exams. I would GLADY take both of those, albeit, very different whirlwinds than the one that I have been twirling in the last two weeks. I think some of you might relate.
It all started on March 29th at 11:00am when I got the call that my Dad had a heart attack and was being rushed to the hospital. Shortly later came the news that he would need triple bypass heart surgery. The surgery came and with it so did all the emotions that come with a loved one having potentially life-threatening surgery. These surgeries are fairly routine to the professionals but to the strangers off the street like you and I, being told that the heart must be stopped to be worked on is a terrifying thing to imagine. Outcomes start to rattle through your mind. Regrets. Words left unsaid. Everything.
Thankfully the surgery went well, and the worries began to subside. The relief that is lifted off the shoulders when your loved one survives such an undertaking cannot be expressed, especially when you have already thought the worst.
But just as the worries began to subside I get a call that my best friend had died in a fatal motorcycle accident. A friend I have known and loved since I was about 8 or 9 years old. A friend that has been at the center of my entire childhood and upbringing. A friend that is a part of almost every single story that I have to share. A friend that has helped make me become the man I am today. It was unreal.
Two days later my grandmother was rushed to the hospital and the morning walk to my car ended pretty quickly at the sight of a flat tire. Small, but the cherry on top.
As tough and as heart wrenching these last few weeks have been on me, I know there are people out there that have experienced far, far worse. Unmentionable weeks with unfathomable heartbreak.
Whirlwinds. They whirl, and they whirl, and they whirl. We have all been through them and if you haven’t yet then strap in because babe, it’s about to be a rough ride.
But the real questions come when we are stuck feeling what seems like an infinite number of worries, fears, doubts and frustrations not knowing where to go from there. In Matthew 5:14 Jesus meets suffering with purpose. He says that I am, that we are, the light of the world. How in the world though can I possibly shine the light Christ amidst some of the hardest times?
We are constantly being observed. Whether it’s your kids, your siblings, your spouse, your coworkers, classmates, students or the cashier at the grocery store. People are constantly observing our behavior and the things that we say and do. Christian and non-Christian alike.
Jesus knew that so in Matthew 5:16 when He says, “let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” He is challenging us to be different.
He knows people look up to me. He knows people see the things that I do and the things that I say. He knows that I have plenty of ways to cope with the grief that I been feeling. It is because He knows that He’s able to whisper in my heart to use my grief for a purpose.
When people look at me--when people look at you--my desire and my heart is that the light we shine for Christ, regardless of our good or bad circumstances, will be so bright and so impactful that others will look at us and say, “there’s something different about him” or “there’s something different about her”.
The suffering becomes an offering. An offering to all that see how we are still able to shine the light of Jesus through our suffering. It is by this that they will desire to worship our Father in heaven.
Shine your light so bright your suffering turns into an offering.