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We understand life is hard and that everyone must endure many things not as they should be in this life. And, with 20/20 hindsight, we can often see how God made something beautiful out of the tragedy and hardships we’ve personally endured. But we must not rush or try to bypass the journey. It’s okay to simply accept that some things suck without immediately trying to find the answers why or the lessons to be learned.

Of course, we understand God is the grand weaver. He’s able to take all the heartache and pain of our story – working it together for good so that nothing is wasted. And it’s good to train our eyes to continually evaluate our story in light of the larger story he’s telling.

At the same time, this is not intended to bypass the suffering we must still endure. And sometimes life simply sucks.

For instance, our kid is diagnosed with cancer. Our wife walks out and decides she doesn’t want to be married anymore. Or perhaps a business partner betrays us and leaves us with a mess to clean up.

To be sure, whatever it looks like, God is with us and is still working all things out for good. And the situation still sucks. We don’t have to deny either of these realities.

But all too often we’re uncomfortable with things being not okay, and we turn profound spiritual truths into mere platitudes. We want to skip over the raw emotions of our human experience and explain everything away in spiritual overtones, as if it’s not okay to be upset, angry, or otherwise deeply moved by the disappointing outcomes of this life.

To be fair, we don’t want to get stuck in our bad feelings and remain blind to the work of redemption God is up to in our story. But we don’t have to downplay these raw and ugly experiences either.

In the end, God’s story is not over yet and it’s good to keep an eye on how he’s working out all things for good. But this does not require you to skip over the chapters in your story that suck. Learn to accept both of these realities.

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Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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