There are no easy answers for pain. I recently read this quote at the beginning of a book as I begin to search for direction in the midst of a painful situation unfolding in my life. No need for details except to acknowledge that the pain I have is not only my own and I recognize that what I am going through is also painful for the other people involved. This is why I am searching for some answers.
In a recent message on Sunday at my church, the pastor quoted Gregg Lavoy who said, “Jesus promised those that would follow him would only have three things: They would be absurdly happy, entirely fearless and always in trouble.”
Well I don’t know you Gregg Lavoy – but you, my friend, are an idiot.
You have not either lived life long enough, experienced life enough or maybe you have just decided to bury your head in your “pie-in-the-sky” existence of Christianity.
Those that follow Christ are not promised happiness and they are not promised fearlessness. While believers should probably live their lives on the edge enough so that they are in trouble at least some of the time, most of them are searching for happiness and are seeking to avoid fear.
Maybe I am in too tender of a place to see what Lavoy meant, but I am enraged by his words.
My experiences of late show me that following Christ is only about simpy believing in him and trusting in his grace. It is definitely not about being happy. You could never meet someone that is more of a sad-sack right now bordering on depression. Sure, that’s just what a depressed Christian needs to hear: You are promised absurd happiness. OK, thanks a lot Gregg…got any Xanex?
Following Christ is certainly not about being entirely fearless. I am currently more frightened then I have ever been in my life. The uncertainty of this present situation and lack of clarity are overwhelming. Add to that fact that I am really not in control of the outcome and feel powerlessness to change the end result…well does that sound lack a man that is entirely fearless?
In all actuality it is the sadness and fear that are currently drawing me closer to Christ and my Creator. Any confusion, lack of clarity or doubts I may have about my past or my future are certainly able to be sorted out by the One who knows me best.
I do not want a life full of happiness or free of fear – or I wouldn’t need God. I wouldn’t need faith. But if I am being honest I would like some easy answers….but I know that I wasn’t promised that.