Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hard Stuff

I know it's been a while since I've posted, but I have good reasons. I'll maybe get more into those later, but tonight I'm reading C.S. Lewis, and as always, he's making me think.

Here's what he said in his book, "Reflection on the Psalms: "When we find a difficulty, we may always expect that a discovery awaits us."

I read that line tonight, in the middle of a particular reflection on the Psalm, and pretty much had to put the book down to think about that. In this passage, Lewis is talking about a difficult Psalm, a Psalm of cursing, and how we are supposed to interpret it in light of other Biblical teachings about loving our enemies. I'm not sure I completely agree with his conclusion on the matter, but that's not my point tonight. My point is, as I was reading the particular sentence above, it struck me that life is like that. All the worthwhile things are hard; all the things that present us with difficulties are generally things that, if we are patient with them and decide to work through them, will eventually turn into discoveries.

I will be completely honest here; I've been through a very difficult stretch over the last couple of months. It's been an especially challenging time in my marriage. We've had some pretty serious issues to work through over the last several weeks, and they've been really, really hard. I don't really want to get into what they were, but they have been some of the most diifcult of my life. Church has also been hard. We've been looking for a pastor, and I am on the search committee. We've had meeting after meeting, many going hours on end, searching and seeking God's will. That has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Needless to say, the stress level has been great, in my home life and my church life.

I say all of that to say this: in both of those situations, the outcome has been well worth the difficulties they've posed. I can honestly say, despite everything we've dealt with over the last several weeks, that I am more in love with my wife than I've ever been, that our marriage is stronger than it's ever been, and that we've laid a foundation for going forward in our marriage that should benefit us for many years to come. I don't want to discount the difficulties, because they have been real and great and sometimes overwhelming. But learning to overcome those difficulties has been the very thing that has caused our marriage to grow into what it now is. Without the hard stuff, we wouldn't have made nearly the progress we've made.

At church, though the search for a new pastor has been difficult and time consuming and stressful, and at times just a hair thankless, it has been frutiful to say the very least. We as a search committee believe we have found God's man for our church, and we as a church will be voting on him this Sunday. (Please pray that the vote goes well.) There have been times when the process was incredibly difficult, especially after we announced our choice and the questions started flooding in. The stress level has been high, and the days have sometimes been difficult. But it's been worth all of the trouble; in fact, the difficulties make the reward of finding the right man even greater. I appreciate the difficulties, believe they were God-ordained, and am pleased that they have made me even more confident in our choice.

The difficulties have been great over the last few weeks; sometimes greater than I thought I could bear. But the discovery that have been on the other side of those difficulties have been sweet and beautiful and more than I could have imagined. So it appears Lewis was right on this point, as he has so often been before.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wade, even though it's been difficult I am glad that our love is strong enough to withhold anything that comes our way. I love you more today than yesterday. Thank you for putting up with me all these years. You're a good husband. Love your wife!