Strange to those who don't have a truly personal relationship with God to hear that our life is good but the ones who know Christ aren't in the least surprised. How many scriptures could I quote? "He makes all things new..." "We mourn not like those without hope..." "All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose..."
There are so many details to life that bring child-like joy to my days. Good hair, the perfect new lip stick, having a pedicure when going to get my broked foot looked at, the laughter of daboyz, coffee coffee coffee. I could go on forever because things get better and better the more I think about it. A friend who is one of the busiest people I know but took time to make us soup. A friend whose early morning texts messages of love and offers to help waiting when I wake up ("Crutches are in my front closet, I'll leave the door open for you.") A friend who sat next to me at the funeral home an giggled inappropriately with me because let's face it, Christians ain't afraid of funeral homes. There is no more inappropriately appropriate response for a Christian in a funeral home that to laugh at death.
But everyone has moments of good hair and good friends and good coffee. Not everyone, however, is able to live in the middle of difficult days and still find happiness in the small stuff much less laughter. The difference is Jesus. Every self-help theory in the world tries to teach people to reframe their circumstances to find the hope and the positive in the things that are challenging to them. But if you know God (and I don't' mean know about God, I mean know him), he does the reframing of your thoughts before you are even thinking them. He gives an extra something to the face of your friends and the taste of soup and the words in a text that makes the details bigger than the picture you are living in.
We cry, we mourn, we bargain and deny and get angry and get worn out. We have bad days and bad hair and dying loved ones and broken bones. We are not placed inside of a bubble that protects us from the hurtful and the ugly. We are in the world, but not of the world. We are not captives of our pain.
Finally, we are bound together with other believers who do miracles on our behalf. Do you have friends who pray for you and yet have never met you? Are you utterly convinced of the love of people in your home and around the world? Are you so sure that they are moving heaven on your behalf that you sleep in utter peace when life is crumbling under your feet?
Life is joyful. If not, your soul perspective is in need of reframing.
He makes the ugly beautiful. He makes warriors of the weak.
We are beautiful warriors.
Image: Flowers on our kitchen table, a deconstructed funeral arrangement in an antique painted bowl. Beauty from pain.