it's okay to not be okay

It's okay to not be okay.

This world. Your life.

It's okay to not be okay with it all.

We put great hope in the idea of life getting better. We turn to politicians, teachers, doctors, employers and others who have authority to fix things for us. We likewise can have a skewed perspective of God that we keep holding out hope for - one where He makes life go exactly as we want it to, sparing us from pain and rewarding us for our good deeds.

That would be "okay" - wouldn't it?

Perhaps that's why are that much more disappointed when things don't happen as we'd like or those we turn to don't accomplish what we hoped they would.

If you're nodding along with this, so am I.

I find that the pain I feel when my expectations are not met reveals so much about me, even though I would rather focus on the one(s) who seemingly let me down. It's why I take great comfort in something from the Apostle Paul:
I, Paul, am under God’s plan as an apostle, a special agent of Christ Jesus, writing to you faithful believers in Ephesus. I greet you with the grace and peace poured into our lives by God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ. 

How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. 

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.
It may help to know that while Paul was divinely inspired by God to write this letter, he actually wrote it while in prison. He had been bullied and abused for his faith, just as he used to bully and abuse others before becoming a Christian himself. Still, Paul proclaimed with great conviction the truth about who he was in Christ.

There's a great truth here: Despite his circumstances, his identity as a beloved child of God remained unshaken.

Which means... because of Jesus, the reality of us being beloved sons and daughters is greater than our circumstances. When we live in that identity, every other area of our lives can thrive. We don't have to be "okay" with what is happening to us, for what is happening in us can be even deeper than that.

I know how freeing that can sound, and yet I also know how complex it can simultaneously sound. Sometimes when life is loud and we are enduring one hit after another even Truth can sound like a lie.

Be aware of that. Claim that challenge out loud. Truth remains Truth. Hope remains Hope. God remains God. Your Savior remains your Savior.

You're not alone in struggling with this. It's why I want you to know church is a place where it’s okay to not be okay... where you can be accepted as you are, experience radical grace, and heal from your past hurts... not because we're able to fix your life with a spiritual buzz or high-five church experiences every week, but because we are genuinely under our genuine God who has created a genuine realm -

a realm called Heaven that we can one day enter into where there will be no more tears, no more pain, and no more sorrow,

and a realm called Earth where His Kingdom can come, and His will be done here just as it is in heaven. 

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