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May 19 2017

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This Truth is Hard to Believe

 This Truth is Hard to Believe

The Five Minute Friday word for today is truth. You can read some other writing about truth here and here.

Go.
“I hate to tell you this, but doing everything the ‘right’ way won’t always get you what you want…or expect.” I told my son this truth, but it’s a hard truth to swallow. I know he heard me, but living in it stings.
Aren’t we told from childhood that if we do what’s right we’ll succeed? We’ll have friends. Rise to the top. Everything will be rosy and perfect. But that’s not been my experience. I suspect it’s not always true in your life either.

Sometimes we make the right (or our personal best) choices, and the world doesn’t smile back. Instead, we get let go or sick or worse. Even though I took good care of my body, I still had two miscarriages. No explanation. It happens. That stings especially when there are people terminating pregnancies. I know I’m not the only parent who has scratched her head in wonder after properly instructing a child and watching him do the exact opposite. Makes my heart ache.
Stop.

But when I think about God, I’m reminded that he truly did everything perfectly, and Adam and Eve still sinned. God did everything perfectly, and Israel turned away time and again after worthless idols. While he wasn’t surprised and will, in due time, get ultimate glory, he’s proof that a perfect choice doesn’t create a perfect outcome—not immediately. Instead, he takes an infinite amount of brokenness and works miracles. His perfect is coming, but all our best efforts aren’t a guarantee of a here-and-now perfect.

When good choices result in success, we reinforce the lie. But a good outcome isn’t a promise, so reality hits like a brick, and truth cuts deep. When children rebel, the boss asks you to resign, and the doctor tells you the thing you fear, it comes as a shock because it’s the opposite of what we thought was true. “I did everything right. Why did this happen?”

Because we hold the lie so strongly, we switch quickly from why to going through our mental file of figuring out how. Someone messed up. Someone is to blame. We play the what-if game. If we can’t point the finger to ourselves or another person, we look to God and question his love. Why? Because we want good choices to equal a good life. The truth is hard.

What is the truth?

The truth is that good choices don’t guarantee a good result. We live in a sin-sick world. God is in process of redeeming this world, but it’s far from finished. He allows us to make choices, good and bad, that impact other people. He allows the results of a fallen world to run its course, and so we get sick and eventually die. This world is filled with an incredible amount of beauty and good, but it is filled with brokenness and pain too. We have only a portion of God’s presence—which accounts for all that is good—but the god of this age and the enemy of our soul is real. We live with both realities.

Until we bask in a perfect eternity, we live in a not-yet reality. Waiting is hard. Trusting God’s heart and his sovereignty take faith. But if we’re willing to press into truth, his grace is able to give us all we need in the moment. His perfect is coming. This is the only guarantee. And that’s all I need.

Do you have a hard time believing this truth?

I have a hard time believing that my good choices don’t guarantee a good result when I’m “sitting” in a not-so-good-for-me reality. When life hurts, I automatically go to why, how, and what if. I have to wrestle it out every time. But when I do, I’m more open to God’s grace and much needed comfort.

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What is Five Minute Friday?

It is a 5-minute writing party. Click the icon to read some other great writing.

Five Minute Friday

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you and encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.

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2 comments

  1. Amy

    Oh wow, these are powerful words and good thoughts. Thank you for sharing them!

    1. Cheryl

      I’m glad you came to visit. Blessings to you.

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