Last night as I was journaling, I realized something I wanted to share with you. Life can be really really difficult. Obviously, that wasn't the part i just realized. And we live in a world where our expectations, whether they be of people or experiences are often too high. Hunter and I were joking the other day about Penn, saying "At Penn you set your expectations low and even then you might be disappointed." Kind of a depressing outlook, I know. But I can't help but wonder if we don't actually live by that. It's not uncommon to be disappointed by things and people and experiences that we had previously put our faith in. We expected it to be wonderful and it just didn't live up to those expectations. Or we trust someone to be there for us and they check out.
And call me crazy, but I don't like pain. It's not uncommon and probably even natural for me to shy away from things that may cause me pain. And I don't think I'm the only one. I think in the American culture we have been conditioned to draw back from the experiences that will hurt us. I wouldn't say it's a bad thing. But there are situations where this tendency does more harm than good. And I find my walk with faith is one. I have become so used to lowering my expectations, to hoping for only what I know has a good chance of happening, that now I find it difficult to hope for anything. Even snow days I don't let myself hope for because there's no way to know what's going to happen. I'd rather not hope and be surprised, than hope and be disappointed. This kind of terrifies me. I don't want to become so jaded that I no longer believe in anything. And I'm finding that that's who I've become. I have a hard time praying about things that are bigger than what I think are possible. And praying for a miracle? That's rare. I say I trust in God but do I really? Do I believe deep enough inside that whether I get the answer I want or not, God hears my prayers? Do I believe that he really works for the good of those who love him? Do I believe that he can do what I ask, regardless of how big? Do you? Because James says clearly that "when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind" How can I ask God for something I don't even really believe he can do? How can I claim that he ought to answer me because I threw it out there, when I have set my expectations so low that I don't even really believe he will come through. Because it's better to be happily surprised than disappointed. But is it really? I'm not so sure.
I want to believe in miracles. I want to believe in the people I love. I want to believe that God can heal my hurts. I want to believe that my prayers will be answered. I want to believe in a brighter tomorrow. I want to believe that the world isn't hopeless. I want to believe. And you know what? I think I do. I choose to believe. Even when the pain is too much for me by myself, even when the world seems too far gone, even when everything points to hopelessness. I believe. Mumford & Sons lyrics are brilliant in general. But one song speaks to this topic, they say: "Hold on to what you believe in the light, when the darkness has robbed you of all your sight." This I will do. God is good, even when my world suggests otherwise. He can perform miracles, he can do what I can not. So when my world is dark and there seems to be no hope, and when the sun is shining and I feel like I'm on the top of the world, I will hold on to what I know to be true, and He will get me through. God Bless.