My friend Kourtney is a busy woman. With a husband and three sons and a job she enjoys, she manages to fill her days moving at near the speed of light.
Until she couldn’t.
Dashing through the grocery store to pick up food for her family, she rounded the produce aisle of a national store that sells everything, trying to be efficient and effective in getting the job done.
A wayward beet was on the floor. Not something anyone notices when their eyes are scanning shelves and bins for sought-after items.
She hit that beet straight on, and being the slippery little stinker that it was, she slid and landed in an awkward manner on her knee, torquing it in the process.
You never know the pain of an injury until you are injured. Two of my daughters have had five knee surgeries between the two of them, and they understand the pain.
They’ve commiserated with Kourtney. The commonality of suffering is always comforting.
Nobody would expect something as small as a beet to be able to do so much damage. But one MRI later, Kourtney’s dealing with discomfort she hadn’t planned on.
A lady shopping nearby came to her rescue. Store employees engaged in helping her deal with the issue. Someone loaned her a cell phone when she couldn’t find hers.
Help is hope in the midst of mayhem.
We don’t plan for the chaos that waits around the corners of our lives. We assume life will treat us as we expect.
What happens when hard times happen? We know they will; it’s our human experience. No one walks through life unscathed. We may become jealous of those whose lives appear to be easy, but even the ones whose lives are filled with the biggest and the best have sadness and loss they deal with.
Jesus told us there would be trouble in this world, hard times we couldn’t handle. Difficulties that would take us to the end of ourselves and still leave us wanting.
We’re seeing stress multiply, anxiety increase, fear and frustration escalate, COVID statistics becoming more problematic.
When Jesus warned us of the hard stuff of life, He added this addendum: “Take courage, I have overcome the world.”
Jesus hasn’t forced anyone to believe. He’s offered an answer to our pain and suffering that gives us an eternal hope that this world can’t offer. He offers forgiveness, mercy, grace, and love in a world full of criticism, hidden fears, shame, blame, and guilt.
He chooses to love us. Period. All that’s required is believing He is who He says He is.
There are those who might call this simplistic. How can love come so easily? How can forgiveness be so thorough?
Love costs. Jesus paid a horrible price on the cross for the mess we’ve gotten ourselves in. While hanging on the cross, He overlooked the behavior and saw the hearts of those who’d killed them. “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.” Luke 23:34.
We can’t plan for the chaos of life, but we can prepare for the pain of dealing with chaos with the help of a relationship with Jesus.
He’s bigger than every slippery beet in our lives.