Everyone has a tale! What’s yours? Well, this article seeks not to stir up mal feelings or bad memories; but if it does, be rest assured that you will at least smile at the end. So, just grab your cup of tea, find someplace comfortable and allow God to heal your broken heart. So...
Prior to the fall, the tale of man was filled with glory, peace, and contentment. However, the taste of sin embittered our human experience. The aftermath; tails of disappointment descending among generations, leaving no one behind.
Unlike Cinderella and other Disney stories, these are real and leave permanent scars. Furthermore, these tales leave you thinking “How did I get here?”. They often take residence in our hearts and, depending on how serious they are, are used as stones by the enemy in his attempt to damage our hope. Which leaves us questioning “How hard can life get?”.
How hard can life get?
I would like to take you on a journey. Along this journey lies monuments of hardships that no one would want on their bucket list. However, these were hardships endured by individuals who were briefly mentioned in the bible. So, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride. To start us off, we have...
The tale of Peninnah (1st Samuel chapter 1)
Peninnah was the second wife of Elkanah, Hannah’s husband and Samuel’s father. Unfortunately, she played “Mistress” in a union designed to be exclusive to one man and one woman. She was blessed with children, however, her husband loved Hannah, a barren woman, more. Her act of taunting Hannah about her barrenness demonstrated her pain, jealousy and anger about the situation. Unfortunately, her “leverage” was no more as Hannah was blessed with children.
The tale of Mephibosheth (2nd Samuel Chapter 4, verses 1-4)
Mephibosheth was Jonathon’s, David’s friend, son. At five years old, his entire world came crashing down. His father died, the throne of Israel was taken away from his family and on his attempt to escape, he fell and became lame. A life of cheerful runs through the hallway, eating choice foods and wearing royal clothing was taken away in an instant; and despite king David’s act of kindness towards him and his family in later chapters, it could not undo the pain suffered resulting from these events.
And we conclude our journey with...
The tale of Job’s Wife
Little did Job’s wife knew that in a day, all that she held dear would have been taken away from her. Her livestock stolen, her house destroyed, and all her children died; and to her surprise, her husband, her head and rock, was worshipping amidst the crisis. It’s one thing to grieve but grieving while your husband is suffering from a skin disease and seemingly “losing it” must be challenging. Often, we commend Job’s resolve amidst these crises, but we underestimate how broken his wife must have been.
The common theme in all three tales was the lasting effect of their disappointments. Penninah remained faithful to a man who demonstrated greater love towards another. Mephibosheth and his family were no longer heirs to the throne of Israel. While Job’s wife continued to grapple with the loss of her sons and daughter from the incidents of Job chapter 1. However, no matter the horror of our tale, it doesn’t have to end this way.
His promises are true, He never lies
When we ask ourselves “How hard can life get?”, I challenge us to ask this follow up question, “How good has God been?”. And if we are to hurt to answer such a question, just remember the Cross.
The cross is the embodiment of His goodness. At the cross lies Jesus’s promise to take away our greatest pain and bring us joy and hope. Unlike Penninah, Mephibosheth and Job’s wife, when life gets tough, we have the cross to look to. So…
If our marriage is failing, look to the cross.
When we lose our jobs, look to the cross
When we are persecuted for the faith, look to the cross
If cancer is destroying our bodies, look to the cross
If we become homeless, look to the cross
When we are tired of drinking ourselves to oblivion, look to the cross
If we are trapped in slavery, look to the cross
When our safety is being threatened, look to the cross
If we are told that we are HIV positive, look to the cross
When our family has turned their backs on us, look to the cross
When we look to the cross, we are reminded that our lives are sandwiched between two paradises. Though we may have fallen short of the first one, because of the cross, we can look forward to the other one. It is with this hope that makes our life between these paradises meaningful whether it is one of misery or happiness. Our tales of disappointment may seem long, but it’s coming to an end. What awaits those who believe in Jesus name will be a tale of unending glory, peace and contentment.
I take this opportunity to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas. It is because Jesus lives today that we can face tomorrow and hope to stand with him in eternity. To the best of your ability, celebrate Him.
Akeel Henry (West Indies) enjoys sharing the hope of Jesus Christ with all individuals. He is currently a trained Biochemist who aspires to become a physician and a pastor. If you wish to share feedback concerning his articles, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be reached on facebook, Instagram (Akeel Henry) and on twitter (@A155_thevine).