Have you ever felt like you were losing your grip on life? I found myself hanging precariously, my grip strained and my heart pounding, on the verge of plummeting even to my death. There were times I struggled to find a moment of peace within my heart. I was without hope and sat in utter confusion and despair. I was severely depressed and although I hesitate to reveal this… my mind was trained on only one thing… the act of suicide. God has a lot to say about losing our grip. In fact he tells us repeatedly to do exactly the opposite. God tells us to hold fast! I pray you are not in this place of despair… yet we all can relate to this in some measure. When our hands start to slip, when our arms get weak and when our hearts are heavy… God says, “Hold fast my child” to the hope that is in Christ!
- Share your life… you never know what God will do with it.
I was 30 years old and committed to the psych ward in our local hospital for the 3rd time in 1 ½ years. Each time I had spent 5-6 weeks in the hospital, away from my family. My children were 8, 6 and 18 months old. My young husband was ill equipped to deal with me and was often frustrated and angry. My only other family was my mother who lived in Hawaii. I had not seen her in 12 years. I felt the most alone I had ever been!
Then a young woman who was my next door neighbor came to visit me on the psych unit. I barely knew her really, and I was shocked to see her. I knew that I was drawn to her but couldn’t say why at the time. She was warm and loving and completely non-judgmental. I knew she was a Christian but she didn’t preach at me or scold me. The biggest thing she did for me was validate how I was feeling… she acknowledged that I was hurt, alone, scared and frustrated and that my reasons for feeling that way were understandable and real. She would just sit and listen and give me a hug and then say a prayer – nothing long and preachy… just simple and heart felt. One visit she told me I needed Jesus as my Lord and I prayed with her to surrender my life to Him. It was still not real to me even after the prayer.
- Share God’s Word… it holds the power of life itself.
The same visit my neighbor left me a little pamphlet with scripture at the top of each page and a short commentary below. I was raised in church and I had heard scripture read at services my entire life. I had never opened a Bible on my own. I didn’t have one at the time. Making the connection between scripture and what I was feeling and experiencing was completely foreign to me.
When I received that pamphlet I was on suicide watch in lock-up on the unit, sitting on a bed with paper sheets and wearing paper pajamas. One scripture seemed like it jumped off the page at me. It was 2nd Timothy 1:7… For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Not all versions say “sound mind” but that pamphlet did. I read that and right away said to myself, that is what I want! A sound mind! I knew fear… I could feel fear in every fiber of my body at that very moment. I knew powerlessness… I had never been so powerless in my entire life! As far as love was concerned I wanted to be loved but I was convinced I was unlovable. Still… I thought I might live without love if I could just have a sound mind.
- Hold fast to your hope in Christ!
Then… the crucial part to all of this took place. I decided to believe that scripture! I decided to believe that God was going to give me a sound mind… I didn’t know how but I decided I was going to find out. I thought I might ask my neighbor for a little help, at least I felt a tiny bit safe with her. I knew that the first thing I needed to do was get out of lock-up and then off the unit and back to my husband and children. I took that scripture and I clung to the life saving truth it held! I read and reread it. God’s Word was working in my mind and heart that allowed change to take place despite my feelings and circumstances!
It’s hard to hold on in life. To “hold fast” is all about what we hang on to… and has little to do with our own effort and energy. It requires action on our part. In this case I read and reread 2 Timothy 1:7 until it became a part of me. Once we reach out… God’s faithfulness takes over. God took one verse and with it he refocused my mind and calmed my heart. Since that time He has done the same thing over and over again in my life. Yes… holding fast requires action on our part. We need to be deliberate about doing this simple sounding suggestion because too often the effort to do it seems huge. But here’s the amazing grace in it… as you stretch out your hand and heart towards Him, Jesus is already there with his strength and victory. When it seems like you are losing your grip… HOLD FAST!
Thank you Father for your faithfulness, love and mercy toward me. You reached out your hand and held me from destruction; you nurtured me and kept me safe. Your word is truth. Help me to seek your word, your wisdom and guidance in every situation and circumstance in my life. Thank you for placing others in my life, they give comfort and love in just the right measure. Thank you Father for the life of Christ in me… together we do life inseparable and victorious.
Scripture: Hebrews 3:6; Deuteronomy 30:20; Proverbs 3:13-18; Jeremiah 31:33