“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
― M. Scott Peck
Following Jesus is all about finding hope in the difficult moments of life. An understanding of the frailty of human life is essential to this awakening. There is no promise of a life that is all “rainbows and ponies” as my son, Benjamin says from time to time. And yet we are promised, “Happy (Blessed) are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Families were going about there business yesterday when with very little warning a two-mile wide Tornado swept through the town of Moore, Oklahoma. A school where children were ending their day was devastated. The toll of deaths and injuries is even now being calculated. In the midst of devastation, eilte search and rescue teams are being marshaled. Happy shouts of survival will ring out before the guilt attached to such survival sets in.
Ministers, priests, rabbis and other men of faith will utter the words that have attempted to comfort grieving souls, but in their hearts, people will know, my loved one died too soon. I was supposed to go first, “If only.”
For those of us who remain to observe the spectacle as it unfolds non-stop for the next several days, let us breathe a sign of relief. We weren’t in Moore, Oklahoma yesterday. But among us walk those who have heard the words, “Cancer, Stage 4, Chemotherapy.” Neighbors are heading to their deaths on California freeways. Innocent children are waking up to another day of abuse.
Evil abounds, where is the good? It is in the hands and hearts of rescue workers and significant others who provide a strong shoulder, sometimes just to cry on.
And so I remember, even though I might be walking through lonely and hopeless valleys, God is with me. Even though I have enemies, disaster, cancer, or simply old age, he is preparing a table so that we can fellowship together. He is anointing me with the comfort and peace of the oil of his Holy Spirit.
I will live with him, in his house, forever where mercy and goodness will abound and all tears will be wiped away, and loved ones who have taken the hand of God and traveled on beams of light to mysterious and unknown adventures await our arrival just around the bend in the road.
Today I will hug someone I love, reach out to someone from whom I am estranged and seek to be an ambassador of the peace of God to those I meet. Life is too difficult and short to waste another minute without the community of those who we love and care for.