(Darryl Worley video)
Life can be challenging and seem quite cruel at times. American country music artist Darryl Worley recorded a catchy tune that’s always made me chuckle, called “Sounds Like Life to Me.”
Like many country songs, the scene takes place in a bar as his buddy, Johnny Ray, has fallen off the wagon. His life has apparently become unbearable. After hearing all of Johnny Ray’s woes, Worley breaks out singing “Sounds like life to me. It ain’t no fantasy. It’s just a common case of reality. Man I know it’s tough but you gotta suck it up.”
Well, I must admit that Worley’s advice uses very poor English and I’d much rather see him get his buddy out of that bar and console him over a pot of coffee. Then again, that wouldn’t make for a colorful country song.
Yes, we all go through valleys in our lives and some days, weeks and months are much tougher than other periods in our life journey. As a Christian, I’ve observed that the journey is no easier and perhaps even tougher than before I accepted Christ as my Savior and Lord.
The reality in this world is our lives can be quite challenging.
We can all use a dose of encouragement from close friends when we’re feeling down and out. And don’t kid yourself, we all experience times when life just doesn’t go the way we might hope it would go.
One of the advantages of the Christian life is the opportunity to develop close meaningful friendships. Generally, I believe men are less likely to develop intimate healthy relationships with men except those formed with men who share similar values. I know that my life has been immensely blessed through such friendships since I came to faith in Christ.
Many relationships formed are quite superficial and, frankly, those relationships are not usually helpful as we go through life’s low points. In order to be vulnerable, we must trust we can come to others in confidence, knowing they will not chastise us and carelessly share our circumstances with others to our detriment.
To be honest, I only trust a small group of men who continually exhibit compassion for others. But let me reiterate that life is not easy.
Perhaps the greatest biblical example of facing formidable circumstances in the Christian journey are the life events the apostle Paul suffered during his missionary journeys. Yet he proclaims to the Church at Philippi in Philippians 2:12-13: “Therefore my dear friends, as you have always obeyed — not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence — continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
Paul continues in verses 14-16 “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life — in order that I may boast on the Day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.”
These words tell me that Paul knew full well that whatever circumstances we face are all worthwhile as we strive to finish well to please our Heavenly Father.
Let me conclude by simply saying that whatever circumstances we face in life as a follower of Christ, it is good and worthy to lift up our Heavenly Father and demonstrate our faith in Christ. Yes, it sounds like life to me, and I’ve learned to accept every circumstance and realize it’s all for His glory. Consider doing likewise.
Passages to Ponder
— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at email@example.com for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.