When Trying Harder is Too Hard
There is one question all of us must eventually face: "Do I take the risk or play it safe?"
We ask it about life.
At one time or another, we've all failed. Perhaps you've failed in all three spectacularly - same as me.
Like when my marriage blew up. That terrible day that revealed betrayal.
I couldn't even talk to him. Friends had to step in. "Til death do us part" kept ringing in my ears. And I could feel the undertaker shoveling my insides out.
I needed to play it safe for my own sanity. To protect my heart from bleeding out of my skin. I needed to escape from the pain. Seek shelter from the hurt. Run from the sadness.
I wanted to throw things hard. To yell loud. To cry ugly. I did all three.
Somewhere deep inside resided a nagging question: "If children had been involved, would I have tried harder to reconcile?"
Perhaps. But I'll never know.
Closing the chapter was easier. Little risk. The marriage, it was all risk.
Trying harder was just too hard.
How do we ever reconcile the fact that we could have chosen a different path? A different answer? A different choice? Sometimes those "what if" questions can trap us in corners and beat us senseless.
So now, almost three years following my divorce, how do I process that nagging "perhaps?"
That's where hurt and the Healer collide. That place where you and I are enfolded by a love that never fails.
When we look up from the ash piles of our lives, bare our souls to the One who already knows all, and ask gut-wrenching questions like that, God does what only He can do:
We have a God who makes all things new. Who heals the hurt. Who brings beauty from the ashes regardless of who lit the match. Despite the decisions made. In spite of the paths chosen.
I don't feel brave writing this. Frankly, I feel exposed. Laid bare. My hidden fear has been freed from the cage for all to see: I feel like a colossal disappointment to God at times.
Yet I know His faithfulness overrides my feelings. That's when His amazing grace whispers gentle:
"Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:39
Nothing separates us from Him.
One of the enemy's greatest weapons lies in tempting us to look back. To live in the past with its regrets and less-than-grace-filled choices. To drag us down and immobilize us. To render us ineffective.
So I'm looking forward ... toward God's promises. I take refuge in the fact that this is the day the Lord has made. This new morning. TODAY. I can't load it with yesterday's regrets or tomorrow's troubles.
Neither can you.
I am rejoicing in the gift of today. Of my immeasurable worth found in Him alone.
With this brand new sunrise, I cling to the grace He graciously offers. The love He recklessly lavishes. And His Son's sacrifice that redeems all who believe by faith that He restores. And saves. And forgives.
And so much more.
Thank you, Lord, for being the ultimate risk-taker.
Has trying harder ever been too hard for you?