Hold on! Pull it together! Keep on, keepin’ on! Move on! Don’t look back!
The danger in these catch phrases is that we use them to hold ourselves up in difficult and trying seasons in our lives, but many times we don’t take the time to heal. So many times we find ourselves in survival mode, and whichever mantra “fits” in the moment, we tenaciously grasp.
My point is, we move too fast. Think too fast. Decide and act on things and solve problems in ways that are Just. Too. Fast. Who has convinced us that we have to fix everything? And right away?
Sometimes life’s messes are bigger than we are, and they’re not so easily fixable. Holding on, not giving up, moving on…these aren’t bad, but they’re not the mantras that we need to be chanting through our storm.
Sometimes, we must occupy painful spaces. Sometimes it just hurts. Sometimes our dreams don’t come true, and we’re left holding the pieces. Sometimes our loved ones pass away, and it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes we lose our job, or a contract, or a friend, and it just hurts. This society tells us to “pull it together”, and “hold on”. Fix it and “move on”. Our world isn’t very good at grief, or pain, or failure. The message we receive is to cover it up, patch it up, and put on a brave face.
But what does Jesus say?
“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 16:35, NIV
“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, NIV
Here are a couple of promises from the Old Testament for the brokenhearted:
The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent.
Psalm 34:18, AMP
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psalm 27:14, KJV
These verses bring us great comfort, don’t they? I have clung to these promises many times in my distress and heartbreak. But let me ask you this- do any of these sounds like quick fixes?
Sometimes life doesn’t get fixed right away…sometimes not at all! But as Jesus promises us, He has overcome this world and its troubles. He welcomes us into His arms, where He can be near to us and comfort us. He strengthens our heart when we are weak.
All throughout the Bible, we see struggles, disappointments, tragedies, and failures. It is not in spite of these, but through them that God weaves His beautiful story of redemption and healing.
We see in the New Testament that life was not easy for Jesus’ apostles and churches. Listen to what Apostle Paul has to say:
We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair;
II Corinthians 4:8, AMP
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
II Corinthians 12:9, 10, KJV
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in any circumstance. I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing.
Philippians 4:11, 12, NET
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Philippians 1:6, KJV
You see, it’s not about quick fixes and “pulling yourself together”. It’s about trust- complete and total confidence in your Maker and your Husband. Your Redeemer will hold you through these storms, and He is the Victor who has already overcome this world! Unfortunately, though, we have to live in this fallen world until He comes to rescue us out of it. So yes, Hold On! To Him- to His promises, to His arms. Rest in Him through this pain. Breathe through the pain by breathing His name. Read Psalm 18 and meditate on it. He is your Rescuer! He will come for you. But in the meantime, you don’t have to be strong. You don’t have to put on your mask and forge ahead. Sometimes the best thing is just to wait. To sit with Him, cry with Him, and rest in Him. Sometimes the pain is so strong that the only rest you can find is in His arms. Don’t rush forward, then. Wait in His arms. Spend all the time you can in His presence. Will other things go to the wayside? Yes. Will the world keep spinning? Probably. You may not “have your act together” in this moment, but you will save your heart and your life by taking the time to slow down and sit with Him, through the pain.
You don’t have to fix it. Instead, allow Him to fix you. To strengthen your heart. To fill you with His grace.
Cling to the promise that Paul shared with the church in Philippi- that “He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”, meaning, until He comes back for us and takes us to live with Him forever!
“Jesus, complete Your good work in me, even now, while I’m in the middle of the storm. Hold me, comfort me, and keep me by the power of Your grace. Help me to cling to You as You strengthen my heart. Help me to trust that Your grace is enough for me. In the midst of distress, pain, and heartbreak, help me never to despair, but to take heart, because I know that You have already overcome this world, and I know that You are coming again for me! Keep me in the palm of Your hand, and be my Prince of Peace. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!”