Doesn’t God want me to be happy?
More than that, He wants you to be holy.
Those words poured off the page and planted themselves deep into my heart.
I had been reading “Passion & Purity” by Elisabeth Elliot and was desperately seeking encouragement in the midst of a painful chapter of my life.
This was years ago and they have since cemented themselves into my core.
I have thought long on them, cried over them, and questioned them.
In the years since I have seen them show up in other dialogues,
sometimes refuted, sometimes extolled.
There is truth there, whether we want to see it or not.
We simply cannot deny that God aches for our eternal salvation,
more than our temporary happiness.
He gave His Son for that cause.
He orchestrates His plan for that cause.
He calls us and commissions us to share a gospel message
founded on that cause.
happiness and holiness
I continue to mull over these words.
My weary and broken heart has considered them over and over.
If holiness is the aim of God
then there must be holiness hiding in stillborn babies,
and church shootings, and terminal illnesses.
Where happiness alludes me, holiness must be hidden.
So I look.
Look for holiness in the trenches of my broken heart
Look for holiness in my shattered dreams
Look for holiness in the questions and the pain
Broken hearts are battlegrounds where holy wars take place.
In our trials and tribulations will we choose to see the mercy of a God
who gave up His son that our suffering may someday end?
Or will we choose to see a merciless God who saw our pain and stood still?
Since the Garden of Eden we have been tasked with believing in God’s goodness,
or believing that He is holding out on us.
Can you stand, with pulsing veins and beating heart,
in the middle of a broken and bleeding world
and lean hard into the truth that heartbreak is holy ground?
That where we are weakest, He is strongest.
That where we fall apart, He binds together.
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,
‘FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH
ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP
TO BE SLAUGHTERED.’
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer
through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:35-37)