Have you ever had a long string of crazy things happen? Your life feels like a row of dominos that got bumped as one thing after another falls down in a clattering chain of a mess. Life can be rough. Problems come, but they don’t go away as quickly as we would like them to. One issue leads to another and another until you feel like all your dreams are coming apart. Trials can seem endless, and it becomes hard to see what good is coming out of all the pain.
When life hits you hard and just won’t let up it is easy to get worn down. You wonder if you will ever get a break, and you question your ability to keep going. But in those moments, don’t dwell on what looks like the world falling apart around you. Don’t stare at the raging storm or the unmovable mountain. Just keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
He is the One who supplies us with what we need to keep pressing on during difficulty.
“… fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:2-3)
He is the One who keeps us from being pulled under.
“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:30-31)
He is the One who gives us peace that lasts.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
When we believe that we have to understand and sort out everything that is going on in life – even though it isn’t true – we are quickly overcome by worry and panic when things feel out of control. Praise the Lord that we are not in control! It isn’t up to us to make everything come together and be okay. We can rest in that truth and be free from the pressure to perform for others and the stress of wondering if and how things will get better. We are held and cared for by a good and loving God. He has taken care of each one of us faithfully. We can look back on our lives and see Him there, constant through it all, holding us up, and we can then look forward and trust that He will continue to do so. Jesus is greater than our troubles, so we don’t have to be!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Even in the midst of chaotic circumstances we can be covered in a peace that logic cannot explain. We can be content even in the midst of difficulty and uncertainty. This is not something we can obtain ourselves. It is only through God that we can live like this. We can choose to hang on to the stress of fighting to be free from the seemingly endless challenges, grasping for control over our lives and the things that are happening, or we can let go of all that and, in place of all the worry, accept God’s peace and trust His plan for us.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
It is when we let go of control that we are free. Without realizing it, when we try to hold on to control, we are actually holding on to a weight, and that weight is holding us down. The pressure of life and of trying to look okay in front of other people pushes us down. We become tied up in all the little details and what ifs of everything. Thoughts become unclear and energy is drained as we try to be god over our life. That is something we were never meant to do. God desires to lift that weight from each one of us and to untangle all the details we try to sort out ourselves. All we have to do is ask for Him to take it.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Just sit at His feet for a while. Be willing to follow wherever He leads you. He has never failed before and He won’t start to now. Keep your focus on Him and trust that it is all taken care of.
“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)