Hold Me, Jesus.

On top of a busy few weeks, work stress, volunteer overload, and lack of my precious “me time,” I realized a bit late that I was scheduled to write this post as well. Just one more thing on my growing to-do list. The theme of the month is “Sustain” and it’s suddenly so obvious how I’ve been getting through each day.

 

The Lord sustains me. Sustain. Even keel. Safe.

 

I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
— Isaiah 46:4
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Some days it is such a comfort that the Lord is holding me. He’s in the boat with me and can calm the seas in a moment. He lived on this earth and experienced my pain and more.

 

But on other days, sustain sounds an awful lot like survive. And in our society, we are told to not just survive, but to thrive. We expect more for our big, adventurous lives than this. This life is just… normal. Is it OK to ask for more?

 

Not just hold my head above the water, but get me out of the water. Not just provide my daily needs, but give me a nice cushion.  Not just keep me a step from failure, but push me up to success.

 

No one wants to work their buns off just to sustain and maintain the place they’re at. I want to be rewarded. I want that raise. I want to see that fat melt away. I want that person I waited so patiently for. I want change.

 

I want my life to be mine and not His.

 

I know he is the Creator, Sustainer, and Giver of good things, but my selfish heart pushes back and demands more. It claims to know better what I need.

 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
— Philippians 2:3-4

 

Instead of bemoaning my lack in talents, personality, time, or money, I should rejoice in my God-given worth and how that can be used in service to others. I did not sculpt this life I live. It is both not to my credit and not mine to complain about. No matter my circumstances, it is a gift to be here. Freed. Saved. Held. Sustained in everything.

 

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
— Philippians 2:5-8

 

While on earth, Jesus was the one who could have been sick of simply being sustained by God. He could have used his power to make his life more enjoyable, fun, profitable. But he didn’t. He was equal with God in every way, but he chose to serve us out of love.

 

 

Jesus lived for us instead of himself.

 

Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
— Philippians 2:9-11


 

I praise the Lord for his goodness! He loves me when I’m too low to love myself and too inflated to love anyone else.  With my changing attitudes and actions, there’s no way I could sustain myself. So I must learn to relax in his arms and let him hold me.

 

Sometimes I resist his hold like an impatient, thrashing child. I want my way. I feel it’s my life. But God holds tight knowing I’ll end up hurting myself if he lets go.

 

When in my free will I slip away and think I’ve found freedom to be me and lead the life I want, I realize that being apart from God is no freedom at all. He pulls me back in to where I belong. I say to my God:

 

"Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

Those who are far from you will perish;
    you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds."

Psalm 73:23-28


 

Lord, Help me to let you hold me. I can be independent and strong willed and think I have control of my life, but without your guidance and will, I won’t make it. Let me come back. Let me rest in your sustaining power. My life will go on as you see fit, so help me drop my worry, my striving to prove myself, and my yearnings for greater status or stuff. You sustain me, and that will always be enough. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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