Several months ago I listened to a sermon by William Vaswig and throughout his message he said, "Live as though God reigns". His words impacted me.
When I began contemplating those words I was being rather hard on myself. If I were truly living as though God reigns, I wouldn't be struggling so much with life. What it really means to be married, to be a mom, to homeschool, run a business, deal with health issues, engage in relationships; often I feel like the realities of life are sucking the life out of me.
Media entices us with images of 'happily ever after'. Pinterest boards ooze future hopes and dreams. No matter how unrealistic they are. Although, I am pretty positive that I am going to have a cabin nestled in the woods, mountains in the background, a private lake within walking distance, and an interior of incredible bohemian decor. I will spend summers at the cabin and autumns in Italy and I will wear a Stella McCartney wardrobe. I mean I did pin it, after all. If you pin it, it will come.
Images of happily ever after.
No one is taking a photo at 4:00am when you've slept for only two hours, pacing the floor with a screaming baby, taking out your irritation on your spouse. Because somehow isn't it your spouse's fault?
Not many cameras capture the moment he walks out the door, detached, disengaged, disconnected, and she holds back the tears because the kids are nearby.
Pictures aren't taken when a friendship dissolves, when there is a falling out with family members, when there is a fight over finances, when a daughter walks away from God, when the doctor gives the news that the couple is unable to conceive. It's not a Kodak moment when a son's life is lost in a tragic accident.
Suffering, pain, loss, betrayal, broken dreams.
And God reigns.
Then there are other moments of stress. So overwhelmed and so exhausted because we refuse to open our tight-fisted grip on an idealistic way of life. I think it's interesting that "keeping up with the Joneses" now has two meanings. It used to only mean competing for the greater amount of material possessions. Now, there is "keeping up with the crunchy Joneses". Who can live most self-sufficiently, be most minimalistic, most simplistic, most organic, most green, the hippiest hippy, and the crunchiest of the crunchy.
And God reigns.
But believing God reigns doesn't mean living as though the pain doesn't hurt or that the loss shouldn't be grieved. Living as though God reigns isn't a life absent of lament. It's not putting on a Disney smile and facing every day with a whistle and a zip-a-dee-doo-dah.
I live as though God reigns when I remember God reigns. He reigns in the thick of tragedy, betrayal, loss, broken relationships. I live as though he reigns when I continue to love others rather than wishing they would get what's coming to them or being envious of them. I live as though he reigns when I quit demanding my life go a certain way, whether it is materialism or minimalism. I live as though he reigns when I ask that his kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
When I live as though God reigns there is an anchor of hope despite the heartache. Even though there are days when I don't feel hopeful, in the depth of my soul it's there; it is flowing like a quiet stream. And when I live as though God reigns I can also be a hope giver to a world that desperately needs it.