I have this disruption inside of me. I’ve always had it. This crazy, intense, unsatisfied feeling with this world and all of the trappings that come with it. My life often feels like that crazy moment when you’re about to dive into some unknown water and you have no clue how cold it will feel. You stand there, with gritted teeth, and suddenly suck in hard with all your breath, tense those shoulders up and then make the big jump! You hit the water and slide to the bottom and rest there for just a second thinking this isn’t so bad, and why do I put myself through this every time? It’s like when you stand up to talk in front of people and you’re so very ready, and you know what’s probably going to happen and you should be just fine, but that doesn’t change anything. You suck in hard anyway, and wait to finally breathe. Again. Just breathe.
I couldn’t catch my breath on that final leg of Reach the Cape. The picture looks great, but it doesn’t tell the real story. It was so hard to breathe through the heat and the cramps exploding in my sides. I may have looked tough and strong at the end, but it wasn’t what was really going on inside of me. I did everything I could to force back an explosion of tears and relief at the finish line. Somehow I pulled it off.
I don’t think it’s fear. Maybe it is, but it feels like something else. I don’t think it’s irrational or crazy to feel this way about this world and this life sometimes. I know plenty of people who have a ton of courage and they have to find their courage again and again again. I think we all do. I mean, we are part of this world, aren’t we? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written something and stared at it thinking “Should I really post this mess?” or “Who cares about another post from Thad?”
It was a horrible and very lonely season, the Spring of 2013. It said Spring on the calendar, but it felt more like the winter of my life. I shuddered and shivered, and felt like a whirlwind surrounded me of opinions and voices telling me who I was and what I was supposed to be doing to fix my very broken and jacked up world. It was during this time the Lord spoke clearly to me, about his love and about his grace. And about the fact that Jesus had already done all of the heavy lifting.
You and I are always going to face trials and tribulations in this life. Some will be small, like getting your kid to eat their dinner without too much drama. Some will be bigger, like figuring out how to make your crazy schedules work so you can actually have some semblance of a life. And some, yes a few, will be the moments in this life where you are standing there in a haze wondering how you got here and how in the world you are going to get out of such a devastating mess.
It was in the middle of my darkest days I rediscovered the Book of Job. I spent months reading and questioning page after page, until I finally arrived at Chapters 38-42. I sat there. For months. And months. Just looking at what Job had endured, and how he survived what had happened to him. And then it hit me. Everything suddenly made sense and what I found changed me and the way I thought about this life. It was the answer God gave Job. I didn’t get it at first, but when I did, it made me love God more than I ever did before, and turned a broken and beaten heart into a heart filled with gratefulness and more courage than I had ever known.
It was God. God himself. Do you follow me here? It was the awesomeness of God that grabbed Job and pulled him into the truth about his life and his purpose in this world. God took Job on journey away from everything happening in this world, and brought him deeply into the wonder and awe of who God really is. By doing this, it gave Job an eternal and humbled perspective on this world around him. Job understood how small all of this mess really is and how great God truly is. Everything Job had endured had a purpose, and though Job couldn’t see it, God could. God knew millions of people would soon look to Job in their darkest trials trying to discover some peace and perspective. God knew I would throw myself headfirst into this book about 4,000 years after it was first written. 4,000 years! What an amazing God we serve.
Maybe today you’re sucking in pretty hard, and that exhale just feels all wrong. I get that. I’ve been there. If I could tell you anything, I would tell you to look to God. Not for the resolution you want, because truthfully it may not happen. But look to Him for Him! Look to his greatness and goodness and love and mercy and the plan he has for you for all of eternity. Stop looking at the people and situations around you to find your purpose and hope, because none of that is ever going to fulfill you. There is one hope. There is one truth. There is one plan for salvation, and one God who can give you everything you need. I can’t imagine finding any courage without him. I don’t think it really happens, and if it does, I don’t think it’s meaningful.
Some of you are hurting and struggling like you never had before. I am praying for you today, and just know God is for you, and is always here for you. Be at peace today my friends, and find your salvation, hope, and deepest of breaths in the one true God. Selah.