Dear Nannygranne, Why is Life So Hard? Signed, I Give Up!

A LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN TEEN

Dear IGU,

You don’t fit in.  Why is that?  Is it you?  Is it God’s punishment?  Is God just testing you?  Are you alone?   Christianity not working?

There is a story about a guy, like you, who never quite fit in.  As long as his friends could get what they wanted from  him, they stuck around.  But as soon as HE needed anything, they blew him off.  He tried his best to be kind, helpful, and honest, but that was never good enough to impress them.

He didn’t fit in with his siblings, either.  They were jealous of his accomplishments and also tried to turn his parents away from him by telling them he was ‘mental.’  They even came to him while he was on the job to do an ‘intervention’!!

The people in his town wouldn’t let him have a chance.  His mom had been pregnant with him before she and his step-dad got married.  Small towns never forgive.

When he was almost a teenager, his family went to a week-long religious event.  Everybody was there.  He’d always done well in Bible classes and paid attention.  He learned all he could.  It came naturally for him.  Toward the end of that week, he finally got to talk with some of the speakers and directors.  They were so impressed that they invited him back the next day and the next!  They saw real potential in him as a Bible teacher.   When his parents found out, they embarrassed him by scolding him in front of the speakers and made him leave.  They just didn’t get it!  All he could do was be patient until his time came.  His parents reminded him of his place–for now.

Finally, he was of legal age and was able to launch his career as a public speaker and teacher, which was his dream. So he left home and moved to another town.  Soon he had staff, and they traveled with him all over the country.  He was going to make a difference!  And everyone knows that when you try to change things that there is always the competition trying to undermine your reputation.  His arch rival even came to him offering a friendly takeover.  Our man turned  him down flat, but he knew it wasn’t over.

By now he’d grown to accept the fact that he was on his own in the world.  But his faith made it possible to remember he was truly never alone.  He’d had one true close friend, a cousin, who had always understood him and his dream.  Then suddenly one day his cousin was murdered.  He was broken hearted.  Now he had no one.  

Of course, his staff was loyal, but they couldn’t see the big picture of his organization, so he was continually doing damage control, and though they meant well, they just weren’t who he could lean on.  Even women who he knew, though helpful and kind, weren’t able to be what he needed.  None of them would be a fit for his life, so, he pushed aside thoughts of women, too.  But he did have the perfect wife in mind.   One day….

Eventually, he saw the writing on the wall.  He’d pushed the wrong buttons with the wrong people too many times.  It became evident that they were out to get him.  After months of explanation, debate, and meetings, things lead to controversy and disputes, which lead eventually to outright sabotage and even death threats!  He knew his arch rival was behind it all.  

Why!  Why had he never been able to win the hearts of people?  What had he done to hurt anyone?  He’d helped thousands with his work! 1

His name was Jesus.  And because He stayed true to His place in God’s plan, He did win hearts!  He did change the world.  His friends finally became so loyal they died rather than deny Him.  But first, He had to take his place in God’s plan.  He had to die–for a few days.  Then the grand scheme finally came together, and He reemerged from his grave.  He won! He’d defeated his arch rival–Satan himself.   He could never be hurt that way again, nor could His followers!

You have a place in God’s plan.  Find it.  Develop it.  Do it.  Then you’ll find everything you need in His company, and you will change your world! 

It’s true: Life is hard.  And we often don’t fit in.   That’s because we aren’t made for this world, but God’s.  And in Christ, we are NEVER alone.  As Christians, we’ve received the The Holy Spirit who now lives inside of us, whispering truth into our heads to drown out Satan’s lies.  And the Spirit helps keep us on our correct course when Satan tries to trip us up.

It’s true: Bad things happen in life.  Satan is real, but he’s NOT all-powerful, and he is NOT all-knowing!  He proved that by orchestrating Jesus’ death, only to fall into the web of wonder that was God’s divine conspiracy.  Jesus battled death and beat it!  Just when Satan thought he’d won, Jesus’  victorious resurrection cut off the right arm of Satan.  That  right arm was FEAR!

The truth is that God has made you. YOU!  And God plans to fashion you into His Masterpiece.  

Others want to fashion you into something they can USE.  Being used by God is so much more amazing!  Satan, on the other hand, will get in your head and tries to tell you that you are not enough.  Then  Satan uses some people and circumstances to back up his lies.  If you measure yourself by their views, know this.  They are wrong.  Only God’s perspective of you matters, and He put His mark on you when you were born.  He made you in His image and to be like Him.  That’s where you fit in.  Humans cannot and will never offer you that kind of acceptance in your life.

We fit in where it matters:  with God and others who love Him.  What do we lack? Looks? Smarts? Money? Health?  Here’s what Jesus says about that:

About the man born disabled, He said, “He was born blind so that the acts of God may be revealed through what happens to him.”  Show the world what God can do with you just as you are!  Satan tells you you’re “defective.”  God says you can bring him glory! 2

About not fitting in, He said, “Good for you when people insult you and bully you and spread all kinds of lies about you because you’re mine.  Celebrate!  God will give you extra rewards in heaven because you’re following the example of the ancient prophets of God!”  When you are his, you have everything.3

About rejection, He said, “It is enough for a disciple to become like his teacher…If they called me ‘The Devil,’ there is nothing they won’t do to slander you.  Don’t be afraid of them because nothing is hidden; nothing is secret; it will be found out.  Don’t be afraid of people who can destroy you physically.  They can’t kill your soul.  Only God has that power.  He sees every single sparrow that falls from the sky.  He even knows how many hairs you have on your head!  You’re much more important to him than all the birds in the world or your hair.”  Then Jesus said, “I will always stand up for you when you stand up for me.  Don’t think that what I intended to do was to make the whole world peaceful.  Not at all.  The difference I make will even divide families!  Just put me first above anyone else–even yourself.  If you’re all about ‘Me First!’  you’ll lose yourself completely.  But if you put ME first, you’ll have Life at its best, both now and forever!”  (from Matt.10)3

TAKE YOUR PLACE IN HIS WORLD:

Decide you’re going to “Cross Over” mentally and go all in for God. (Luke 14: 25-35)

Wake up with him and stay close to Him all day. (Christian music)

Spend time listening and talking with Him (Listen to Audio Bible.  Journal honest prayers)

Learn about His Ways (YouVersion Bible studies)

Find answers to your big questions (YouTube:  Youth Apologetics)

Spend as much time as you can with others who have “crossed over.”  Pray for God to lead you to them.  

When you realize you don’t “fit in” at work or school, you can remember that you’re there for them…not the other way around. 

 He will show up!  Just watch!                     

Always Praying,  Nannygranne

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From Scriptures of Jesus’ life:  Luke 22:44-46; John 7:1-5; Mark 3:21, 31-35; Matt 1:18; Lk 4:16-30; Lk 2:41-52; Mk 4:13; Matt 10:1-5; Matt 4:1-11; Matt 14:1-13; Jn 3:28-29, Lk 8:1-3; Matt 16:21

2 John 9

3 Matt 5:11-12; Matthew 10

Author:

I am a mother, grandmother, nanny, and writer—with a passionate concern about children, all children. With the help of my son Travis (who has a graduate degree in apologetics) I hope to share some thoughts that will be helpful to all who have the same concern.

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