Better or worse

“It can’t get any worse than this, can it?’” Every time I hear someone say that, I cringe. Life can always be better, and it can always be worse. Our lives are a set of choices and events and the intersection of the two. Regardless of what’s going on, however, God is always with us, loving us and blessing us.

When life seems to throw us a curveball of overwhelming circumstances to deal with, it can be very easy to wonder where God is in the midst of it. And when one more thing is piled on top of the heap, we can feel like we’ve hit our maximum. And perhaps that is true for some, but for others they may be stretched further; so in their case, it can be worse. But God is there with us, in every sigh and tear. He may even be blessing us by making our burdens just a little bit lighter or preventing them from getting too heavy, but since we can’t see things from His perspective, we may wonder what His role is in our lives.

In Jesus’ address to the disciples regarding love for our enemies, He says the Father “makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends the rain on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45) God has not created the world just to abandon it, rather He loves all His creation and wants to bless it, regardless of whether one believes or not, whether one obeys His commands or not. Even in the smallest details like sunshine and rain He bestows on all. I don’t think we can ever really know what life would be like without God since He is with us always and helping us along the way.

As a follower of Christ, I take comfort in knowing he is always present; it brings me a sense of peace in difficult circumstances. However, my initial reactions when challenging times come may not be as Christian as I expect of myself. I wonder if the saints ever reached the point where they accepted all challenges without struggling.  St. Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.” Perhaps as we continue our faith journey, we can learn to rest in the Lord, thanking Him for the blessings — both the obvious ones and those that only He knows.

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