by Teresa McLean
A few days ago my world came to a standstill. The summer I was so looking forward to seemed to drain of all joy, excitement and peace. I found myself facing the possibility of losing everything I grasped so tightly. Did I realize that I held all these things so stubbornly in my fist?
When I say that Jesus is all I need and then face losing everything I've worked so hard for, do I really mean it? What do you do when everything starts to crumble and all you see is the dust rising around you?
Why is it that when it comes to money, Jesus so often takes a back seat? The topic of money is a taboo area for most of us. So easily it can bring shame or pride into any situation. Over the past few years I found myself struggling to find hope, trusting people that in hindsight I should not have trusted. Finally I felt I could see an end, but instead I found only an endless blackhole staring at me. Taunting me. Where I once hoped for freedom, I found despair. This was a nightmare. Where could I possibly go from here? When I looked for grace, there was none. None.
I know in those moments I saw my own heart more clearly than I had in a long while. I saw all the ugliness of who I am revealed so potently I could not deny or pretend it wasn't me. Anger, sadness, despair and hopelessness were all I felt I had left. How could possibly find peace in this?
I felt the layers of my heart, of my life, being striped away. Like the slow peeling off of a band-aid that had sat to long on my skin, I felt the sting of a heart being laid bare. What was left of me, and how do I possibility go on from here?
Jesus: our Rock of hope
I have always loved the words of Matthew 16, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”. As I thought of these words I realized that I have been putting my hope in things other than Jesus. In things that will fade away, betray me and leave me alone. What does it truly mean to put your hope only in Jesus? Realistically I know I have to have a place to live, I need to earn money and take care of my family, but if all these things fall away will I still be okay? Really be okay? Is Jesus all that I need? Only him?
What is it that you are questioning? What is it that is stealing your joy, your peace? Do you find yourself at the end, or maybe in the middle of the road and all you can do is sit down in despair? Do not give up. Maybe you're like me and just need to take that moment to cry, scream and yes even despair. Sometimes we need those emotions just as much as we need joy, love and peace. Yet, when you are done, I would encourage you to get up, keep fighting. Beloved this is not the end. You are heard, you are seen, you are loved.
More and more I am learning that the journey of faith, the journey to Jesus is a painful one with many turns and even heartache. And yet through all of this I am coming to realize the amazing blessings He gives me every day. The joy I find in hearing my kids call me mom, the smiles and laughter we share, family and friends that support me. It's true when you hear that sometimes the little things really are the big things.
I am learning that through all of this pain, that I want to always remember God's goodness to me, His faithfulness even when I am unfaithful. In experiencing difficult situations I pray that I will become kinder, have more grace, more love for those around me. To see them as Jesus would see them. I pray that my heart will be protected from becoming hard. (Oh the danger of the heart that slowly hardens.)
And so I face today choosing to let go of what I can't control, I choose joy. I choose to put my trust in Jesus. Only Him.
As a good friend so recently reminded me the words of a well sung hymn, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand”.
All other ground is sinking sand.