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Good Miserable

I think that we would be happier people if we knew better how to be miserable.

Don’t worry, I’m not one of those people who only feels good if they have something to feel bad about.  If things are going well I don’t get braced for disaster.  My Myers Briggs says that I am a positive person.  The woman I married is positive off the charts.  She was a high school cheerleader who has never stopped cheering.  (Am I ever glad of that!) Our downstairs is painted bright yellow – like sunshine.

So, I expect to be happy.

But, I’ve nearly wrecked my relationship with God on many occasions because I carried that expectation into my spiritual life.  I assumed that since God was the only real source of joy that I would be happy all the time, that even if tough things happened, I would still be ‘more than a conqueror.’

So, I was blindsided when tough things did happen and I found myself in a storm, a pit, or worst of all, a desert.  I shouldn’t have been.  The Bible is full of stories about storms, pits, and deserts.  One can’t read the Psalms without hearing personal accounts of such tough times.

But, my God-math got totally scrambled when suddenly God seemed far away, out of reach, uncaring.  It was hard to not conclude that something was terribly wrong with God or terribly wrong with me. 

I always started with the latter.  Something must be wrong with me.  Perhaps I just needed to read the Bible more or pray harder to get everything sunny.  But, that didn’t seem to help.  I guess that I was just a bad Christina. 

But, then I would wonder if it was God’s fault.  Maybe he was a bad God, or not a god at all.

Guilt and cynicism.  A deadly combination for the human heart.

Someone should have taught me about storms, pits and deserts.  Maybe they did and I wasn’t listening.

Someone should have taught me how to be miserable.

How to truly wait on God.  How to trust that it was still okay.  How to live in the desert.  How to get strong.  How to die so that God can live in me.

Lord, teach me your way, especially in the desert.  And forgive us for the pressure we put on each other to ignore the storms, pits and deserts.