The Hardest Peace
I’m reading this book called “The Hardest Peace” and it’s not a happy ending, I can tell already. My biggest clue is that my friend told me not to read the ending in public, and that she cried deep sobs as she read it. (I’m really intuitive and can read between the lines.) One of the points that the author makes is that her difficulties may be part of God’s good story for her. She notes that we tend to think that God’s good equates to ease.
I was thinking about this… and I agree that we tend to think this way in America. We put two concepts onto the same continuum:
Easy/Good – – – – – – – – Hard/Not Good
When in reality, there are two continuums that may or may not coincide. We can rate an experience on both these continuums in different places along the continuum.
Good – – – – – – – Not Good
Easy – – – – – – – – Hard
Something can be good and easy (e.g. eating pancakes), but it can also be good and hard (e.g. climbing the Manitou Springs incline!). Something can be not good and easy (e.g. reacting in anger), or not good and hard (e.g. hot dog eating contest).
This is so important for living the life of faith. How often we make sense of suffering by believing God is against us in some way. What if our difficulties are still part of God’s good plan? Can we hold that? Can we believe that God is for us even in the midst of terrible and extreme difficulty?
I love the passage in Luke 7 where Jesus is said to be amazed by the Centurion’s faith. I think the faith that can believe in God’s goodness in the midst of suffering is amazing faith indeed. I want Jesus to be amazed by my faith.
If you’d like to talk through these concepts with a Christian counselor, our experienced therapists at Envision would love to talk with you about how to handle life’s difficulties and live a life of amazing faith. Contact us today.
Author: Veronica Johnson