Over the last three years I’ve experienced much paradox in my life: boundless joy mixed with deep loss – never the one without the other. I’ve been thrilled to go on adventures with my wife, to raise my kids, and to serve the church.
But, mixed up in all of that has been some really hard stuff. Heartbreaking stuff. Friends move away; new friendships are built. People I care about fight sickness and win; others fight the same sickness and lose. Couples we know get married; other couples separate.
This has been a season of extremes: some of the greatest moments mixed with some of the worst. And it’s left me wondering, how do we reconcile the joy of this life with the tragedy?
As I’ve walked through this season, a significant theme has emerged, and I share it often with people everywhere I go: Life is a mixture of pain and promise.
The pain of now: struggle, disease, poverty, war, and death.
And the promise of what’s to come: God’s kingdom is advancing—and a day is coming when there will be no more war, no more suffering, no more hunger, and no more death.
Right now we live in the middle: holding pain in one hand and promise in the other. As Job says in the first chapter of his book: “The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
That’s what I’ve been trying to do in these days. I’m committing to praise God regardless of my circumstances. May we all have the courage to give God the honor He deserves whether we are in the dark days of pain or enjoying the blessing of His promises.