In my late twenties and early thirties, I began a journey where Jesus brought a lot of healing to some very deep wounds and some intense places of darkness in my soul. I cannot began to articulate the level of quiet it brought to my mind, and peace to my soul. My level of faith reached a new all time high. I remember during that season of new found freedom hearing my pastor talk about how hard life was. He basically said that no one gets to escape difficulty and seasons of pain. In my mind, I said, “I rebuke that!” (Can you tell I grew up in a Pentecostal church?) I remember thinking that, although I understood where he was coming from, with my newfound freedom and faith, it would be easier fom here on out.
I have chuckled at that naive statement many times since…
Life IS hard. In 2015 my family celebrated some amazing and some terrible, heart-wrenching moments. In all honestly, I am still recovering from mentally, physically, and emotionally from some of those things.
A few weeks ago, our band sang a song I had never heard called “King Of My Heart”. Have you ever had a moment where you hear someone articulate something you believe in such a way where you just want to yell, “YESSSSSS!!” There was a line in that song that is so true that I felt the very words grip my soul, “When the night is holding on to me, God is holding on…”.
I’m at a place in my life where I don’t question the existence of God or my final destination. (This is quite a relief after years of not being sure I would make it to heaven.) I love Jesus today more than I ever have, and it isn’t a struggle for me to believe that literally nothing is impossible for Him.
This doesn’t change the fact that I will still continue to go through dark seasons where it feels the night has a hold of me. Life is hard. Things happen that are unjust, unfair, heart-wrenching… (I could go on and on). The difference is that now I know that God is with me through every step - through my moments where I feel victorious and the ones where I feel like I am trudging through the valley in the grips of darkness.
The Apostle Paul talks about knowing Christ “In the fellowship of His sufferings…”
Think about that statement and what it means. Jesus suffered being falsely accused, mistreated, not believed - and so much more . As we experience the difficult and painful seasons of life, we have the opportunity to recognize that God is holding on to us through these moments. His hold on me is not connected to my hold on Him (Shew!). No one and nothing can snatch me from His hand. (John 10:29) However, what I choose to focus on in these moments certainly affect the way I view my situation, and the people around me.
Wherever you are today in the journey, remember that the main focus of your thoughts generally reveals what is on the “throne” of your heart. Whatever you have gone through or are going through, remember that if you have given your life to Him, God is holding on to you and will not let you go. He is the one who will be your stability, your comforter, your defender, and your refuge. Focusing your thoughts on Him and thanking Him for what He has done and who He is will help to keep your eyes on Him. And focusing on Him brings hope to even the darkest and most desperate of situations.