Life is suffering. An up-hill battle, an adventure.
A constant struggling forward.
Lately the weight of life has gotten me down. I've spent a few nights crying myself to sleep. Wondering what on earth I'm doing with my life.
On the outside, it looks like I have it all. I'm a filmmaker. Producing my first feature film. Working in an office of wonderful people, who I get to adventure with. I'm writing a novel and part of the worship team at church. I have great friends and a loving family. I have all the creature comforts I could want and am surrounded with good things.
On paper, I've got a pretty charmed life.
But the life of a creative is a constant struggle. And that's ok.
Because without a little conflict, life would get pretty boring. I don't want a life of all highs and no lows.
It's in the lows I remember to crawl back to my Papa and cry for his help. It's then I remember, I've got an amazing God, who is using every present struggle for the working of my good.
His plans are for our good
If there is one thing I can stress to those who are going through a difficult time. Even if it feels like that difficult time is always. On-going.
Do yourself a favour. Turn to Papa God. He's the only one who can meet you exactly where you are.
I've been listening to Bethel's new album, Have it All, and been reminded that when I focus on the struggle - I will be overwhelmed.
But if I focus on God and His phenomenal amazingness - I will overcome.
As soon as we tell God that He can, indeed, "have it all." That stress and worry. That frustration, it will lighten. I don't mean it will go away. I'm still facing a big giant, but my perspective has changed. I can't see the giant, because I'm too transfixed by the glory of my Daddy.
Walking the ancient paths
Jeremiah chapter 6, verse 16 says, "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls."
Oh that we would turn our hearts back to God and take those ancient paths.
Think about an ancient path for a moment. What does it look like? Where would it be found?
I imagine those roads are not easy to navigate. They're probably overgrown. Full of wild things. In hard to reach locations. Where only the brave and courageous can find them.
And even then, I bet they are hidden to the naked eye.
Ah. But don't you know? It is the glory of God to conceal things, and the glory of man to seek them out!
To search something out is not going to be easy. But, He's told us not to fear, because He's redeemed us. Called us by name, and said we are His.
If that isn't enough. He's also given us a promise.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." Isaiah chapter 43, verse 2
"I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord." Isaiah chapter 45, verse 3
I don't know about you, but I want to find those ancient paths. I want to seek out the things God has hidden. To walk forward - through the struggles - and know there will come a day when the struggle will have it's work in me.
And I'll come out the other end a stronger person.
Both in faith and relationship to the One who walked me through it.
Charis Joy Jackson is working as a full-time missionary with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) a non-profit organization in Queensland. During the day she makes movies and in her spare time is writing a novel. www.charisjoyjackson.com
Charis Joy Jackson's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/charis-jackson.html