Sunday, January 22, 2012

Life Is Supposed To Be Hard

This past weekend our car tire was slashed and our living room window shattered while we were watching tv late at night. The lights were on and somebody actually had the balls to vandalize our home while we were awake! Of course we didn't run outside immediately to see who it was, so we weren't sure if it was random vandalism or not. Since the window was broken right by our ears, it was incredibly loud. The scene from Remember the Titans flashed through my mind, where Denzel Washington's character whipped out his shotgun to protect his family when a brick came through his window. Although I had no shotgun to pull out, I still felt the same sense of duty to protect Jen and Nolan.

Just a few minutes ago Nolan was crying in his room and was having a hard time putting himself down for a nap. I went in, picked him up, and he immediately snuggled on my shoulder, under my chin, and fell asleep. Feeling the trust and the love that he shows me when I am caring for him gives me a new perspective when bad stuff happens like broken windows and flat tires. I see now that I love him even more when I think something might happen to him. What if it had been his window that was vandalized? Now that he is walking faster than we can blink, I think about the possibilities of him taking a journey out into the street and the dangers beyond our reach. If we lived in a boringly safe neighborhood, would I focus more on how annoying it is when he wakes up at night or would I focus more on how much I love him and get the privilege of putting him to sleep? He is safe in my arms. He is a happy, cuddly boy. Do I love Nolan more when there is more of a threat that something might happen to him?

Jen and I rarely fight when we are dealing with things like this. If anything, a broken window and a slashed tire brings us closer together. We usually fight when we are bored and tired with life. When it's the same old same old stuff going on every day every week, we find flaws and faults in the other person. But when we become fearful of something beyond our control, then we hold each other close. When I feel the need to protect Jen, I immediately see her as my beautiful bride who needs rescuing. My desire is to see her safe and lovely. Do I love Jen more when there is more of a threat that something might happen to her?

Life is supposed to be hard. Without struggle and obstacles, we would never grow. Without being pruned, we would never stretch our branches further and never produce better fruit. We must not see these hard times as something negative, but as something positive that builds us up and matures us.

The Lord is the stronghold of my life and He is my light. When life is hard and bad things happen, Whom shall I fear?