God in the difficult
Some things in life are just downright hard. I thought fixing the heating problem in our home would be simple, but it wasn’t. I thought replacing our bathroom vanity would not be a big deal, but it was. I thought programming a new remote control would take minutes, yea right. And then there are the more emotional things in life that are even more difficult. We’re overcome with grief when a loved one becomes ill and dies. We lose a cherished pet. A job is lost. A relationship fails. Some things in life are just hard.
I have a small piece of wood hanging on the wall in my office, and inscribed on it are these words from Genesis 18: Is anything too hard for the Lord? Sometimes I’ve found myself staring at those words for a rather long time. It’s more than a glance. I read them and I think about how different we must be from the creator. Do these emotional things in life not bother the almighty? An important aspect of my faith believes that God enters into these hard moments with us, that God is bothered by the things that bother us. But there’s more to it than God just sitting with us in our difficult place. God is there to help us carry on, seeing beyond what is so hard.
When we look at Genesis 18:14 in context, we hear how Sarah laughed when God made a baby announcement for a woman who was so old. It was hard for Sarah to wrap her head around the idea of having a child at this stage in her life. But God responds: Is anything too hard for the Lord? Of course, out of fear Sarah denied laughing, but God responds again, you laughed. In other words, God knows our humanness. God knows life can be difficult, God knows we laugh at the absurd and cry when we feel broken. God knows this. God understands this, because God created us.
That little sign on my wall speaks volumes when I need it most. I can’t but God can. This is too hard for me, but not for God. And so we pray for God to be there, in the midst of everything that challenges us, to hold our hand when needed, and to lift that hand up when it’s time.