“He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17 (CSB)
Add it to the list, I said to myself, making yet another note of something that needed my attention. Somewhere after “study the Bible more” and “read to the kids,” I added another item: “Eat more vegetables.”
Before putting the list away, I thought of something else: “Work on being a better listener.”
Perhaps the saying is true that we’re our own worst critics, but despite how hard I try, sometimes it feels like every area is sort of falling apart.
Sitting there in what was supposed to be a moment of self-reflection, my attempt at fixing things turned into shame and discouragement. I was reminded of everything I’m not doing well, everything I had said I’d do for months — who am I kidding, for years now.
Sinking into a bout of self-pity, I needed to remember the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how gloomy things feel or how badly I believe I’m doing, Jesus is there, ever bright, ever loving.
It’s during those moments when we seem to be failing at all the important things, that we need to take our eyes off of us and put them on Christ. He’s still good.
He’s our constant.
When I only look at what I’m not, the entrapment of my perceived failures keeps me focused on the shadows in the tunnel instead of seeing His hope-filled light. Sometimes the way out is merely a perspective change. I can beat myself up about too many French fries and not enough quality time, or I can look to Jesus, letting His light pierce through my dark moment and guide me closer to Him.
Colossians 1:17 tells us, “He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.”
That includes me! I may be struggling to hold things together, but the Lover of my soul holds all things together.
When we commit to Him our victories, our failures and our efforts that land somewhere in the middle, He holds them together.
The verse says He’s before all things. Jesus knew our struggles long before we knew them, and He’s rooting for us to see beyond those struggles and look to Him. If we take our gaze off of all that we’re not, we can embrace who He says we are.
Though we may need to work on our friendships, Jesus says we’re His friends. (John 15:15)
When we feel disconnected and inadequate, He says we’re branches of the true vine, able to bear fruit in Him. (John 15:1, 5)
While we’re being hard on ourselves and sparing all grace, Christ says there’s no condemnation for those in Him. (Romans 8:1)
There are times when it feels like everything is either falling apart or, at best, an extremely long work in progress. Even then, though, Jesus is solid, and He offers strength that will carry us through.
He’s our constant.
I don’t have to have it all together. I just have to know the One who does. He’s there whether I’m checking all the boxes or barely making it along. I know He wants me to be a better friend, wife, mom and servant, but I’ll only become better by looking toward the Light, the Refiner.
See, when I make my struggles all about me, it becomes harder and harder to pull myself out. But when I connect my unmet desires to His desires for me, I gain strength to keep pushing. He wants us to succeed!
There will be more days when I wonder, Am I being a good friend? Am I giving enough? The answer may very well be “no,” but you know what? I can praise God that He gives me a mind to even care about those things. I can look to Him with a soft heart and let His Word show me how to get to where I need to be.
When we become better for those around us and can say Jesus is the reason, He gets the glory, and our struggle is not in vain.
Lord, help me to see that Your greatness outweighs my shortcomings, and You’re right here with me as I grow to become more like You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Philippians 1:6, “I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (CSB)
Do you ever find yourself wondering, “Is it always going to hurt this much? Will I ever feel differently toward that person who hurt me?” Discover how to start applying realistic and appropriate boundaries for even your hardest relationships with the help of Lysa TerKeurst’s FREE resource “Where Do I Go From Here? Six Ways to Start Healing Even When You’re Still Hurting.” Download your copy here today.
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REFLECT AND RESPOND
Does the weight of your roles or responsibilities ever leave you feeling discouraged? What’s one way you can shift your focus from your heaviness to God’s goodness? Share your thoughts in the comments!
© 2021 by Jasmine Williams. All rights reserved.
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