We’d seen the lions, the tigers and the bears (oh my!), but by the afternoon the zoo had lost its appeal. And again I heard my sweet Quinn say, “Mom, I’m havin’ a hard time… I don’t want to walk anymore.”
I’m havin’ a hard time.
It’s not something I say often. It’s hard for me to admit when life is getting me down. Instead, I find myself faking it:
“How are you?” Great!
“How are the kids?” Wonderful!
“How’s your marriage?” Tops!
“How’s your spiritual life?” Fantastic!
I’m not sure why. Is it because of the old lyrics: “So let the sun shine in, face it with a grin, smilers never lose, and frowners never win?” Do I not want to bother others with the real hurts and struggles in my life? Do I think I’m a better Christian witness if I keep a smile on my face and a song in my heart?
What If I Told the Truth?
Whatever the reason, I do sometimes find myself exhausted by faking it in front of my friends and before God. What would happen if I just told the truth?
David did. He told the truth to God. He shared his sorrows and frustrations as well as his victories and successes.
In Psalms 6, David says, “I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes” (verses 6-8).
Now there is some heart-wrenching honesty. But what I love is how he continues:
“Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping. The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.”
David had such confidence in God, even in the face of difficult situations.
My Honest Answers
So if I follow his example, maybe my more honest answers would sound like this:
“How are you?” Ya know, it’s been a tough day, but I know the Lord has my back.
“How are the kids?” They are great, but I am really struggling with how to discipline my oldest. I’m reading some parenting books my friends suggested and I’m praying for strength each morning.
“How’s your marriage?” Our preschoolers seem to take up every moment of our time, sometimes I feel like I haven’t talked to my husband in weeks. It can be really frustrating and sometimes I feel really lonely. But I know the Lord is at the center of our marriage. Somehow, we’ll make it through.
“How’s your spiritual life?” Right now, I’m havin’ a hard time. I feel like I can’t hear God and I don’t know why. But I do know how God’s led me in the past, and I’m believing there is a plan for my life today.
Joy is one of the gifts of the Spirit. But there are days when joy is hard to find. Sharing our honest feelings with friends and with God can bring healing to our hearts and can encourage someone else who is “havin’ a hard time.”
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