Sometimes you really just need to hold on. Keep pushing on. And never give up. You just need to hear that. I need to hear that. Jesus is true. He’s real. He’s for you. He’s got you.
I told him this yesterday. Sitting with a friend experiencing death. “He’s got you. Jesus is holding you. So hold on.” Just a few days ago I had this same conversation with another friend who lost her husband last month. And a few days before this, the same conversation with a friend at church experiencing the sudden death of two friends in the same week.
It’s been one death after another lately. One disappointment after another these past several months. Sometimes the road gets long. Over one of those hills is home, you tell yourself time and again, and you keep driving.
Keep on keeping on.
When your road is long.
When death comes and comes some more.
When you fail and fail some more. When the bills keep coming. And your teenager keeps breaking your heart. When he totals four cars in three years. When you look at your half-grown child and say, “I didn’t raise him this way.” When your kid smells like weed day after day and you wonder when’s it going to end?
How’s it going to end?
And fear’s got you. Fear is sitting on your chest like a nine-hundred-pound grizzly bear and you can’t see the future with all the frightening fur in your face.
Just last year at this time I was fighting fear. And such disappointment. Our son at 19 trying to get clean. Trying to change his life with a scared pregnant girlfriend in her teens too. Doing the dishes I found myself crying into the kitchen sink. Telling God we did the best we could as parents and wondering… did we do the best we could?
Were we good enough parents?
Did we fail raising this boy?
Yesterday I looked into his bright eyes and realized we didn’t fail. We just needed to hold on. Just keep holding on. Our son has gained thirty pounds. He’s healthy now. He’s got a great job. He’s a great soldier. A great dad to his baby boy. Jesus had been good to us.
Are you struggling? With discouragement? Disappointment? Death?
Hold on. Not to something that can’t save you. Something that can’t help you. Don’t hold onto a bottle. Or pills. Or a pep talk. Hold onto a living savior.
Does his name move you? Can his name help you? “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” Acts 4:12.
Do you need to be saved? From yourself? From your circumstances? From death?
There is always death in this world. But she shines with faith. My dear sweet friend who lost her husband last month. I see the hope in her eyes. The trust on her face. “He is carrying me,” she says and I believe her.
Do you need to believe in something bigger than yourself? Bigger than your pain? Bigger than your problems?
Just say Jesus.
He really is the answer. This is what I will tell the girl when I see her. The girl who just lost her mother this weekend. She will stand at a funeral at fifteen years old. I agonized driving to her house yesterday. What will I say? What comfort can I give her?
It’s all I got. For every hurt. Every wound. Every death. Of loved ones. Of dreams. Of parents who feel like they’re failing at raising their children. Jesus. He will never fail you. You may fail again and again. But Jesus…
And why does failure feel so bad anyway? Why does it knock the breath out of you? When the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned have come through failure. Those are the lessons you don’t forget.
“Don’t do drugs, boys,” he said last night to his little brothers as he walked out the door. His smile wide and bright and happy. In his military uniform. Luke has a future. A plan. In just one year everything has changed.
Just hold on, I heard God say last year when all I could think about was our oldest son. The college dropout. The kid headed for boot camp with a baby on the way. How will he get by? What kind of future does he have now? If only I could have seen the year ahead. Bright with the light of new beginnings. New mercies every morning. Jesus was already there.
This is the reality of those who hope in Christ. He’s already there. Holding you as you hold on to Him.