Our Tough Stuff

I came across a verse in my Bible study the other day that really struck a nerve, and has stuck with me since I read it. It’s in Psalms. Let me share it with you.

Psalm 22:24 – For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

This verse is talking about God and how He is relating to the afflicted person. The previous verses have filled us in on all the hard things going on in the author’s life, and how God has been with him through all of those hard things. His afflictions.

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like having problems. I have wounds, I have hurt feelings, I have been betrayed, I have health issues, I have bad days, I have tough stuff happen in my life. I have things I would call “affliction.” And I don’t really like to talk to people about it much.

It feels like a burden. It feels like I am a burden.

None of us want to be a burden. None of us want to be that person always sending off negative vibes or having nothing good to say. So a lot of times, we keep it to ourselves.

I totally do this in my relationship with God.

He already knows all the tough stuff. He hears about it all the time. Even if it’s just once in a while, it still feels like all the time, right? Can’t I just be happy and have nice things to say to God?

But look at what this verse is saying!!

God doesn’t hate our tough stuff! He isn’t tired of us. He isn’t worn out hearing about the hard things. He hasn’t walked away. He listens when we cry, even in the midst of affliction! Me and my problems aren’t annoying to Him!

So I don’t have to feel bad telling God about the hard stuff – about the trials, about the rough week, the failed plans, the less-than-stellar meeting, the break-up, the twentieth trip to the doctor, or the test I flunked.

How relieving to know that God doesn’t get tired of me. He never gets tired of me! And my afflictions never wear Him out! In fact, He even says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He invites me to bring my hard things! He invites me to come to Him when I am worn out and done dealing with that thing that is about to push me over the edge.

He is the One Who breathes life into us when we’re struggling. He wants to be the first place we go when we need someone to listen. He says, “I never get tired of being here for you through your tough stuff.”

He wants to do real life with us, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And He says, “Come.”

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