It rolls in like a black thundercloud on a sunny summer afternoon, slowly sickening the atmosphere before the pressure releases and the rain breaks looses. It’s the feeling I get whenever I hear bad news… a foreboding fear of the unknown. Any sunny mood I may have had before dissipates as if it never existed, and all is just plain awful.
I received those foreboding tidings this afternoon… the depression was so instant that I, upon arriving home from an errand, went straight to bed.
I’m not just making a big deal out of a one-time event. I have usually fallen back on a depressed sort of mood by default whenever something happens that I don’t wish to happen. Or when life becomes stressful, too fast, too full. I am one of the most simple people around (not to be confused with a simpleton, though I may be that as well) and by this I mean that I prefer a simple, quiet life with no chaos and no confusion to ripple-up any smoothness of my life.
How on earth do I even have the nerve to expect life to be like that? It just doesn’t happen. Others manage to suck it up and move on. Yet I often feel… stuck.
I do what I need to do, but rarely with joy or passion. There are times, to be quite honest, I’d rather do nothing. I have to kick myself in the rear each day just to get myself moving. I suppose this is where the “limp” comes in.
Things happen in our lives to set us “out of joint”… and God allows them. He may or may not be the Author of the events that rock our worlds… but He allows them to happen. This is where we wrestle with God, always expecting blessings and a brightly lit yellow brick road… not hardship on a narrow, decaying cobblestone path. Christ never promised an easy life even for those who follow Him and this is where many of His followers obtain their limp; they have discovered that they have misjudged God’s purpose for their lives. They thought that godliness would be a means of personal gain to them; they came to Christ believing that He had all the goodies for them… and none of the pain and trials. Indeed, it does seem that we get offended with God through disappointment of our misplaced expectations; after all, Christ did promise that His followers would “have life, and that more abundantly”. He does give us certain blessings… but these are not always what we expect. Blessings for me, for example, would take the form of constant smooth-sailing, no trials, no challenges… everything going perfectly (i.e., my way). If this is how I assume a blessing from the Lord will look then I will be disillusioned with Him and stuck in immaturity till the day I die. No, Christ will not let us down with a lie. He is honest about the struggles we will experience in this life. He never promised the journey would be easy; He did, however, promise to walk the treacherous paths with us.
So… life sets us out of joint and we are left with a limp. There is always some brokenness about us and, thus, we must lean on the Lord all the more as we walk and discover that we are but mere flesh. It is finally then that we realize the true blessings of the Lord… the treasures that sometimes are only discovered in darkness. Only in the darkest times of our lives can Christ often shine the brightest and show us everything he can be to us, as He draws us into true relationship with Himself where we finally learn to seek His face, not His hand.
I am, therefore, coming to see that learning to walk with a limp is okay. The limp only means that I have been through some tough times and am not the same, yet am better for it. It is a reminder to me that I and my comfort zone are not the center of the universe, but that God has a purpose in making me progressively more Christlike through character-building trials. The limp is reminder that, in my weakness, God will be my strength and help me to stay the course.