Embrace the Suck

It’s Narcissist Friday!

Okay, I know. “Suck” is not a term nice people use. I’m sorry.

Now that’s over, let me explain the phrase. The military has used “embrace the suck” as a way of telling their people to look past the difficult circumstances and stay on target. The challenges are just part of the job. Might as well embrace them and keep going.

Some of us can only imagine the difficult environments encountered by people on the front lines of combat. Dry and hot, wet and cold, threats of attack or illness or accident. Under pressure from the enemy, from subordinates, from superiors, from the public, and from home. Bad clothing, bad food, complicated equipment, on and on and on. The front lines are hard.

But the “suck” is part of military life. Fighting against it will only make things worse. The soldier could grumble against the heat and the sand, but things would not change. He or she could hate the mud and insects and rain, but none of it would stop. In order to get the job done, the soldier must “embrace the suck” and keep going.

Of course, that’s true in all our lives, isn’t it? Our environments might not be as hostile or uncomfortable as the soldiers face, but they are still difficult for us. And some people have situations where they would gladly risk front-line combat rather than face another day.

Now, I have to be careful here. Nothing I am saying should be seen as minimizing the struggle you face. Your situation might be truly bad. I have heard some very troubling stories from those in difficult relationships and circumstances. Nothing I would like to face, that’s for sure.

No, the suck is real, and it does suck. But when there is nothing you can do about it, you must find a way to acknowledge it as reality and move forward. If you can do something about it, perhaps you should. But that might not happen today or even tomorrow. In the meantime, grumbling and whining won’t help. Forward progress, whatever that means in your situation, will change things. The best way out is usually through.

Military families usually have it rough. Distant relationships with long separations. Fear of injury or capture or death. Desires for home and peace and reunion. And the only way out is through. Getting through is a process of embracing the suck.

Jesus said that the suck is real, only He called it “tribulation.” He told us that He would be with us, and He would be our peace. Accepting the tribulation and finding comfort in Him is part of the Christian life.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”” (John 16:33, NKJV)

Yes, there is good that comes to our lives during these difficult times. We grow and learn and draw closer to the Lord through the suffering. But nowhere does the Bible or the Lord suggest that the suffering is not real. In fact, the call is not to be pulled out of it, but to endure it while drawing peace and comfort from the Lord.

The day will come when the suck ends. In that day there will be lasting peace and joy for us.

Until that day, we accept the brokenness of this world and the trouble it brings. We “embrace the suck,” knowing that our hope is in Jesus.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Embrace the Suck

  1. Steve Tompkins

    Amen and amen! And one more…amen! Thank you Jesus for Your comfort and peace thru the suck!

  2. Singing Eagle

    OMG!! Thank you! I needed that! I would love for the “suck” to change but after so many years, I don’t know if it will. Some things (or people) may never change while we are here in this earth. And yes, expecting change or hoping for change that doesn’t happen can reap”suck” or be disheartening. But remembering that we can have encouragement, even peace in the midst of “suck” is truly a God thing to keep moving and not “pitch our tents” and stay there.
    Thank you again for reminding us that we can make it through because it’s HIS strength that helps us and gives us the grace to do so (grace for our hearts), Amen!!!

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