I got out of the car, smiling and hopeful. I faced the looming giant in front of me and determined that today I would not cry in that vast place. I would not cry in front of John the produce manager. I would not longingly look at the floor in the peanut butter aisle and want to curl up there in the fetal position. I would not wish that the pharmacist was a therapist. I would not end up crying with the cashier in the midst of checking out. I faced the giant courageously like David faced Goliath. I was determined that today I would not cry in Harris Teeter.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
I made it through the produce section: check. I made it through the deli: success. I made my bread selections with steady emotions. But by the time I made it to the cereal aisle, a migraine started to settle in. I pushed through, managing to pause at the Burts Bees display to choose a new shiny lipgloss to help me feel better. I checked out bravely, struggling to hold myself erect and make small talk with Jorge, the young cashier. Refusing help to take out my groceries, I made it to my van. By this time, I was very sick. There, in the parking lot, struggling to even lift my groceries into my van, the tears began to pool up in my eyes. Dang. I almost made it through Harris Teeter without crying.
Are there seasons in your life where you seem to cry at the drop of a hat? Among your friends, are you the emotional one who is always tearfully asking for prayer? Some seasons are really tough. We can be courageously walking through a difficult situation and another one gets plopped into our laps. We wonder how much more we can take. We empathize with Job who endured such horrific and prolonged suffering. Are we just weak, weepy women or are we weary and worn out from the battle?
In the midst of a myriad of confusing and upsetting emotions , I stumbled upon a scripture that brought me great hope. It is not a scripture that brought assurance that my situation would come to a swift end – it is a scripture that assures me that in my weepy emotional state, I am not alone.
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials… 1 Peter 1:6 NASB
The preceding verses in 1 Peter 1 give us the context for verse 6. The author, Paul, had been referring to the hope that is ours because we have an inheritance in heaven, reserved and set apart just for us. So we rejoice in the hope of heaven, but on earth, for a little while, even now, we are distressed by various trials. When I saw the word “distressed” I was so encouraged because the Bible validated my feelings. I was feeling very distressed and unsettled and when I saw my own feeling being described in the Holy Book, I was so relieved. It assured me that I am, in fact, after all, not crazy. I dug further to see what the Greek word translated “distressed” really meant. And this is what I found that it means:
This Greek word, lypeo, means to make sorrowful, to affect with sadness, to cause grief, and to throw into sorrow.
The scripture means that even while we find joy in our hope of heaven, now, for a little while, we are experiencing trials that make us sad. Trials that grieve our spirits. Trials that bring us sorrow. Trials that break our hearts.
You are well acquainted with these trials that I’m talking about.
The death of a loved one.
Conflict with children.
Rejection by friends.
These trials are what cause us to be sad and distressed. Take a deep sigh of relief! We are not just messed up emotional women – we are strong women distressed by trials! We are not weak women who can’t hold it together – we are strong women walking through a difficult season. We are not just weepy balls of nerves – we are women who are momentarily weak and weary from battle.
These trials that we are walking through are necessary for our spiritual maturity. These trials are the building blocks of our faith. They are no fun, but they are needed. They are necessary.
Now, for a little while, we may be distressed by these various trials. We may cry at the drop of a hat. We may be known for crying in Harris Teeter. But these trials will come to an end. We will not be made sorrowful forever, for we have a promise from God:
Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
Hang in there, girlfriend. Here’s a Kleenex. Cry now, but have hope that you won’t be distressed by these trials forever. This season will come to an end, and joy is on the horizon. I can see it now.
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