Thursday, April 21, 2022

Fiancé Noodle Soup for the Soul

Suggested Reading: Joshua 1:1-9

Not long ago, I was a little under the weather and it got me thinking about when my wife and I first started dating. Shortly after we got together, we took turns being sick. When she got sick, I brought some things by her dorm to cheer her up and, hopefully, help her feel a little better. I don't remember what all I took, but I remember what she did when I got sick. She drove just outside of town to the house I shared with two other roommates (and it was difficult to find if you weren't yet very familiar with it) and made me chicken noodle soup. Then she sat next to me on the couch and stayed with me for a while. It took me a couple days to get better, but I didn't seem to notice being sick as much when she was there with me. It was really difficult to feel all that bad when she was sitting next to me. Even today when I get sick, I still feel bad, but it's hard to remember that I feel bad when she sits next to me. Her mere presence is enough to boost my spirit.

Being sick or weary is not something unfamiliar to Christians. Quite often, we, like the everyone else on the planet, find ourselves facing difficulty and hardship, illness or trouble. Some people become disillusioned when these difficult times come, disappointed that Jesus has not, somehow, prevented these hard times. But nowhere in scripture does God promise us an easy life. Yes, there are general statements about how the lives of righteous people are blessed while the lives of the wicked are not and about how God will protect the righteous while bringing about the ultimate downfall of the wicked. But God never promised a life free from trouble and pain. What God did promise was that he would never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6,8; Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5).

God's promise to never leave or forsake us does not mean that we will never run into trouble. Rather, it means that God will be with us in the middle of that trouble. "So what?" you say. "I've heard all that before, but what good is that? I'm still going through all of this!"

When my future wife brought me soup and sat with me while I was sick, her presence did not heal me of my illness. But it certainly made it much more bearable. I may still have been sick, but I didn't feel as sick because someone I loved (and who loved me) was by my side. God's presence does not always take away the problems or the heartache of life, but when we are focused on God's presence in our lives instead of the trouble we face, we find heartache and trouble much easier to endure.

Whatever you are going through right now, don't trivialize it or pretend it's not as tough as it really is. Just focus on the presence of the God who loves you in the middle of it. God's presence may not make it easier, but you will find the problems are more bearable. 

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