Most of us have an IT. Some of us have more than one. ITS job is to torment you. IT hangs over you like an ominous cloud and robs you of peace. IT tells you that IT can never be overcome or even managed. Above all else, IT demands to be hidden, because if ITS presence in your life were made known to other people, those people would reject you. IT is your enemy.
I don’t know what your specific IT is. But I know what some of the biggest and worst ITS are. I have also learned a few things about handling ITS.
If IT is an addiction that you are working to overcome, keep working to overcome IT. If IT is a secret, a monster within you that you feed daily by letting IT eat your insides, reveal that monster to someone you trust. Monsters thrive in darkness but lose power when exposed to light.
If IT is a horrible injustice that has been done to you, know that some people in concentration camps have managed to hold onto hope and joy. The abuser, not the abused, is the loser.
If IT is a terrible health diagnosis for you or one of your loved ones, know that we will all die sooner or later. None of us who knows Jesus will die alone.
If IT is sin on your part, know that every single one of us is in IT up to our eyeballs. Never doubt God’s willingness and eagerness to forgive IT. Not only does God forgive, but the people who have truly learned to love are happy to forgive too because they realize how dependent they themselves are upon forgiveness.
If IT is just the drudgery and overwhelming fatigue of limping through life in this broken old world day after day while fighting demons within and without, KEEP LIMPING! That is the best any of us can do.
I don’t care what IT is. IT doesn’t change by one iota how God feels about you. IT doesn’t invalidate all that you have lived your life to accomplish. IT doesn’t define who you are.
And I know who you are–YOU ARE ME in a slightly different form. I think the same way you think. I feel the same way you feel. I judge myself in the same way harsh way that you judge yourself. I have been brought low by the same things that have brought you low. We share the same fears, the same desires, the same disappointments, and the same undeserved self-contempt at times.
We are both stumbling and banging and clanging through this life in the same awkward way. BUT, as long as we continue to stumble, bang, and clang along together, we’ll be okay. For a certainty, we are all united in this “human race.” Some days you may have to carry me. Other days I will carry you.
Do you remember the beautiful image of the Special Olympics kids who all strained to win the race and break the tape at the finish line? It seemed they would stop for nothing, until one of their own fell down, Then they all stopped, lifted the injured one, and crossed the line together. They all came in first.
Try your best not to go down, but if you do go down, don’t stay there. Let Jesus or one of his friends pick you up. Whatever you do, don’t let IT own you. IT isn’t worth it.