When you start to climb a mountain, it looms in majestic grandeur ahead. As you walk, pain fills your joints and muscles. The trees are tall; the path continues to wind upward. Yet, reaching the summit and experiencing the feeling of “being on top of the world” is always worth the pain. Gaining a new perspective requires effort and hard work.
I am tired of working as a lifeguard, getting paid to do something I hate only to pay my school bills. Today was one of those rare days, however, where I made money doing something I love. Tutoring students, teaching riding lessons, even teaching swim lessons–those are the meaningful paychecks. Why is it that I must waste my life watching a body of stagnant chlorinated water, when I would much rather be teaching people? My car is not fixed. After nearly eight weeks, I am no closer to paying my school bill because I now I have a $1400 + car repair bill and a car that is still as broken as it was eight weeks ago. It is so easy to become discouraged and adopt the angry and depressed outlook of people around me. This is not truth. I feel as if I need to repeat that, to grab myself by the shoulders and yell in my own face, “THIS IS NOT TRUTH!” Perhaps then I would “get it.”
Truth sees the Author of my circumstances and rejoices–not just in what I have, but in what I don’t have. Truth recognizes the value of pain and trial in working out my patience and my faith (James 1). Truth finds joy in the little things and contentment in diligently striving towards the goal. Truth sees the world through a different perspective.
There are those days where I think I’m doing tolerably well–after all, if I squint and tilt my head just right, I can see the name on the road signs as I pass. When truth comes into the picture, the road signs are brilliantly clear—oh, but it is not comfortable dealing with the truth. Contacts may make my vision distinctly clearer, but my eyes feel dry and putting them in is torture. Is it worth it? Picking up the sword of truth every morning is painful, and when I lie down at night, I’m thoroughly exhausted. But I have seen clearly. When the pain seems like it is too much, I am tempted to lay down and give up the battle for truth, and, alas, the world shrinks back into blurry shadows. What was once normal is no longer acceptable when compared to truth. Truth is always worth the uphill climb. It is worth the momentary pain to see clearly.
Oh Lord, I pray that I would see in truth. Open my heart and eyes to see as You do–clearly, and not blinded by lies. Give me the grace to risk the pain of fighting for the right perspective of truth in love.
Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. The LORD will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD! (Psalm 146 ESV)