Sustained Through Times of Strain

Ugh!  Is it only Tuesday?

Tuesday is normally my favorite day of the week, but my first thought this morning when my brain started to stir before my eyes even opened was, “why is it morning already!”

I’m going through this season where my days feel like an up mountain marathon and my nights feel like they pass in the snap of my fingers.  I wish I could say it is just one thing that is causing turmoil in my life.  Something that I could easily fix.

The reality is, it’s when the struggles are compounded that the strain is greatest.  That is the kind of strain I am feeling…the compounded kind.

I don’t know how you respond to that kind of pressure, but when I am under a great deal of strain it leads to a surge of emotions and tears.  This is especially true at the end of the day, when the energy to resist and refocus has gone away, and it all just pours out.

My biggest weakness during these times are the thoughts in my mind.  I slip very quickly into regret, wishing I had made different choices, that I had not done this or agreed to that.  I am broken not brave, I have doubt instead of courage, and I want to run away rather than wait faithfully.

What if I need this?  What if I need the compounded strain right now in my life because there is something really sweet ahead?  What if this is part of the process to reveal something beyond anything that I can imagine?

I have no idea in this moment what will come of my current struggles.  I do not know if things are going to get better, when that will be, or if they will get worse first.  Right now it feels that I am of feeble faith, barely able to get on my own two feet.

Then I read these two verses together,

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and rescue you.”  Isaiah 46:10 (NIV)

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”  Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)

isaiah 46_4

I may be broken, but my God is perfectly whole.

I may have doubt, but my God has perfect knowledge and knows all with certainty.

I may have fear, but my God is the giver of faith and fortitude, providing strength of mind to encounter adversity with courage.

When it feels like I will be swept away, my God will scoop me up and sustain me.

I do not know what you are facing right now.  I don’t know if your struggles are complexly compounded to a weight that feels crushing or if you are in a season of calm.

What I do know is this, the sustenance that we need through our struggles is not going to come from our selves.  We can not work hard enough, smart enough, long enough, diligently enough to endure and persevere on our own.

We need more.  To be sweetly sustained through the trials and tribulations, through even the successes and highs, we need a Lord who is whole, wise, and wonderfully filled with love for each of us.

Beloved Lord, 

Thank You so much for taking a hold of us and sustaining us, especially in those times that we do not realize the scope of Your care.  Lord, the strain can be so painful and frustrating that it feels like it will crush us.  When we get to that point, remind us that our help comes not from within us, but from Your generous hand.  You hold us, help us, and sweetly sustain us.  Thank You for never leaving us alone in the struggles. 

In the faithful name of Jesus, Amen.   







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