"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
The past couple of years have taken a toll on all of us. Things we took for granted, like family gatherings, school, work, and travel, have all looked quite different for a while. Many of my family and friends have also experienced loneliness, anxiety, and depression at levels they’d never known before.
I have, too. Over the past several months, I found myself struggling to keep my head above water. I wrestled daily with feelings of despair and dread. It took me by surprise. I honestly wasn’t prepared for another battle with clinical depression threatening to pull me under.
Over and over, I prayed for quick healing. I asked God to take away the pain and struggle. Instead, He strengthened my faith by gently reminding me of the gift of His presence when I’ve walked through dark seasons before.
God has a perfect track record with me. He has always been faithful. In the midst of pain and sadness, tears, and questions, I have clung to this profound truth from God’s Word: God began His work in you and me, and He will continue it until it’s finally finished on that glorious day when Christ returns. (Philippians 1:6) We don’t have to pretend to be perfect, to have it all together; we hold on to Jesus, knowing that He is holding us.
I have no idea what’s going on in your life as you read these words. What I do know is that we will all face challenges, heartaches, things we don’t see coming. There will be moments when we wish we could rewrite chapters of our stories. But as I began to dig deep into God’s Word recently, I saw like I’ve never seen before that God has been writing our stories from the very beginning.
I’ve been learning new lessons in this season. They are life-changing for me, and I pray that they will help you, too.
1. We can trust God to hold us and all our missing pieces. (Isaiah 41:10)
2. When life feels out of control, it isn't. God really is in control. (Colossians 1:17)
3. When life is messy, remember that God is the God over the “messed up.” (Psalm 51:17)
4. When you feel afraid and alone, and it seems as if God is silent, He is still with you in your pain, still moving. You are never alone. (Matthew 28:20)
I am learning to make peace with my story and be transparent and vulnerable with God. I pray that for you, too.
Remember that no matter what you’ve experienced in the past, you are not your past. Your history does not determine your destiny in Christ. As a child of the King, you live under the righteousness of Christ, not under the cold blanket of shame. God began this beautiful work in you, and He will continue it until you see His face. You are not forgotten, overlooked, pushed aside. Your story is simply not finished yet.
I have no idea what’s going on in your life as you read these words. What I do know is that we will all face challenges, heartaches, things we didn’t see coming. There will be moments when we wish we could rewrite chapters of our stories. But as I began to dig deep into God’s Word in past weeks and months, I saw in a way I’ve never understood before that God has been writing our stories from the very beginning. Life is not out of control, even when it feels as if it is. I promise you that. You are being held, and God is tenderly holding your missing pieces.
Today as I write this, I’m still learning, still trusting. And yes, I still shed a few tears. But I know this: No matter what circumstances you and I face today or tomorrow, we are being held by the God who will never let us go, so we hold on to Him.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
Sheila shares ways to find hope all this week on LIFE TODAY. This is an excerpt from Holding On When You Want to Let Go by Sheila Walsh. Copyright ©2021 by Sheila Walsh. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission.