Have you ever felt like you were waiting for the other shoe to drop? Those days when, as soon as your feet hit the ground, everything starts slipping sideways.
Sometimes for me it’s small, seemingly inconsequential things like socks that surely must have been eaten by the washing machine… items I put away for ‘safe keeping’ so that I will not lose them, only to discover that I have ‘kept’ them so well I cannot find them… the days when I have done everything short of sleeping in the car between carpool lines and after school activities.
Then there are other occasions that are deeply consequential. Occasions that can, and have, altered the trajectory of my life. The diagnosis of a loved one with cancer… the loss of an aunt all too soon… making decisions about life-saving medical interventions.
The obstacles in this life are many, regardless of how small or large they may be. Their impact is undeniable. In the book of John when Jesus is addressing His disciples as He prepares them for events that would turn their world upside down, He states, “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.”
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 (NIV)
I sincerely appreciate the words that Jesus speaks and certainly can’t dispute the existence of trouble… but taking heart and experiencing peace in the face of life-altering decisions, fear, and loss is quite another thing altogether.
It is surely beyond my own ability to have peace. I find it difficult to ‘take heart’ at the best of times. There is often a gap between the trouble I face and the peace of Jesus. On my own, I can’t reconcile His peace and my difficult circumstances. If I want to take heart and experience His peace, I need to trust Him and what He says.
This is where my faith in Christ must supersede what I see, think, and feel. It doesn’t mean that my circumstances will change, but it does mean that Jesus will change me and my perspective about whatever trouble I face… If I will allow Him to.
At times my willingness to trust has been easier than on other occasions. Sometimes I experience His peace quickly. At other times it is an intense labour that is only realized as I continue to learn (or re-learn) that trusting Jesus is a moment by moment decision. Not a one-off. Trusting Jesus, and His Word is not a spectator sport.
When my feet hit the ground and it all seems to be going sideways, I must choose not to be dragged along with it. I need to hold onto Jesus and what He says with everything in me. When I do, He is faithful.
No matter the situation, no matter the circumstances, no matter how small or large the trouble has been, He has never failed me.
I am completely convinced of His Faithfulness, His Love, His Grace, His Mercy, His Goodness. He has written, and will continue to write a story on my heart where I continue to see the closing of the gap of the spaces in between.
How Good He Is!