Moving Past Hard Moments

Sometimes it is hard to move past the moment. It is hard to work through the adversity, disappointment, or heartbreak. Maybe it is self-inflicted. Maybe it is due to my own weaknesses. Maybe it is because of my own ignorance. Maybe it is because of my own unmet expectations. It can also be others. We expect someone to be different than they are. We learn of a marriage that is tearing needlessly apart. Any number of things get us stuck in the moment. We spin our wheels in the sand. Too many things collide together at one time.
First, remember God has not changed.  He is still on His throne. Even though the moments seem to be like walking in concrete, God is still merciful, full of grace, and loving. He never disappoints. Our hope is anchored in Him. His promises are sure. He has never failed us. He carries us in our darkest moments. He strengthens us when we are weak.

Second, because we are hard-pressed by the moment, the moments do not define who we really are. It is easy to begin to believe that the moments define us. They do not. The moments of heartbreak may be real, but the cause of the heartbreak does not define who we are. It grieved God that He had created man. Yet man’s failure did not define who God is. Jesus was disappointed in His disciples. “O you of little faith,” He would say. Yet, those disciples did not define who is He is. Heartbreak does define who we are. We are defined by God.

Third, hard pressing moments have always been part of man’s existence. The person has not lived who has not faced some moments that were hard to move past.  We are not robots that can be programed. We have emotions. Those emotions are tightly bound in others. Paul was heart-broken when Demas left him. He was frustrated with John Mark after the first journey. Barnabas, the encourager, was even susceptible to Peter’s negative influence. As long as we are involved in the lives of other people, moments that are hard to move past will be present.

Fourth, those hard-pressing moments are hardest to move past when it is a child. The disappointment and heartbreak consume us. We invest our lives in our children. We place such hope in them and believe in their great promise. When we watch them make choices that are life-altering, we feel helpless. We beg, plead, cry, and pray. Yet, they have choice.  If we could, we would make the choice for them. We can’t. We want to do something. We want to reach out. We pray and pray, and it seems like God is not with us. We ask why? We ask where did we fail? I have seen it in the faces of parents. I have heard their voices tremble because a child walks away from God. It is hard to remember, but God has experienced the same thing with His creation. Man walked away from God. In the story of the two sons, one a prodigal and one who never left, the same father loves them. The prodigal returned. The one who stayed home, left. The father cries for both. His heart was broken then healed by the prodigal’s return. His heart was broken again when the boy who stayed, left. God knows and God understands.
Life has those moment that are hard to move past.  But we can learn to live with them. They become part of who we are. They can also be transforming. They can make us more tender, more understanding, and more loving. We must not let them make us more cynical and bitter. We must keep praying for greater wisdom and spiritual insight.

Rickie Jenkins