Jesus cares for and oversees everything happening in his domain. He not only creates, but he sustains what he creates. “[Jesus] upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3). He completes what he begins. He is faithful to finish anything he starts.
There are days and seasons where it appears like everything is crumbling.
Amid pain or hardships, our lives feel like they are collapsing before us. With weary minds, tired bodies, worn-out spirits, and emotions that feel like they’ve been tumbling in the dryer for way too long, nothing seems to make sense.
In the furnace of these trials, answers escape us. All we know is, this feels so hard.
This might be how life lately has felt for many of us. So many things feel like they’ve fallen apart. Our plans, hopes, calendars, and schedules unraveled before us as the world shut down. For many, jobs, finances, health, and relationships were frayed or ripped away. In the wake of the racial divide and strife between political parties, everything feels heavy and wrong.
Everything just feels like it’s too much.
Grasping for Control
As we seek to regain control and put things back together, we grasp with a fury as we try to piece together the patches in our life. We feel anxious, fearful, and overwhelmed by feeling like we need to hold things together; to hold ourselves together.
But Paul offers us some wonderful news. There is already someone who is holding all things together, and it’s not us. It’s Jesus:
“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1:17).
We’re always aware of the potential for life to bring a tidal wave, but that awareness doesn’t prevent the wave’s force from taking us under. After exhausting our energy to get our heads above the water, another wave smacks us and the disorientation sets in, as we scramble to collect ourselves again.
Hardships, pain, and trials leave us staggering with the same sentiments. How did this happen? What should I do? Will this ever get better? Why can’t I catch a break? Why isn’t God stopping this? The questions don’t stop, and life goes on.
Who Over Why
In times like this, we might ask the why question. But in reality our hearts long for an answer to the who question. What matters most when things in our world appear to fall apart is that God stays with us. Above all, we crave his nearness.
For Christians who have walked through the valleys, they know the lowest low can be survived if God is near. But if God is absent (or seems absent), there is no getting through. Puritan Richard Sibbes understood this truth well. He said, “If we cannot rejoice in the world, yet we may rejoice in the Lord. His presence makes any condition comfortable.”
There’s nothing more comforting than to know that “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you” (Isa. 43:2). Just two chapters before this, God comforts his people with these words: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10).
If you’re crawling through a valley right now, read those verses again, slowly. He is with you. He is with you in the valley and the darkness and the raging waters. He’s with you even when you don’t see or sense it.