Every day brings new challenges. Some are ongoing, never seeming to come to fruition. Some are daily struggles, with health or family issues. Yet through them all, we tend to depend on our strong will and motivation to pull it together and deal with whatever we have on our plate. Those of us who deny the temptation to give in to the modus operandi that today’s culture perpetuates, namely self help tactics or taking on a victim mentality, believe we can draw strength to endure and conquer by pulling ourselves out of the muck independently. Regardless of which method we cling to, if we neglect to see our desperate dependence on our Creator, none of them can or will get us through. Colossians 1:17, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together,” gives us the whole picture in one sentence.
That verse is in the context of the supremacy of Christ and, in that, we can be reminded of how our existence, however we perceive it, ultimately lies with and for Him. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23) is a frequently used verse reference for Christians when difficulties arise. Every morning we have a renewed hope to give us endurance to make it through the day. Although that promise can be tied to a plethora of scriptural truths, it is so deeply rooted in the comprehension of the straightforward Colossians 1:17 verse. Merely recognizing Who created all, where He is in relation to all, and how it is Him that holds all things together brings the idea that His mercies are new every morning to a heartfelt, breathtaking, and pulse giving reality in the way we proceed.
Because we are in Christ doesn’t eliminate us from tribulation. Our bodies are mortal, our minds are bent on prideful indulgences, and our hearts aren’t trustworthy leaders. We will fall victim to abuses by another (in turn, we will also be the abusers), we will lose loved ones, we will experience mental and physical health failures, and we will always face struggles. Christians aren’t exempt from pain, be it emotional or physical, but we have what unbelievers are lacking; the comfort and solace that only Christ provides. The Christ that bought us with His blood on the cross and has claimed us as His, notwithstanding the faultless promises He reveals to us through His Word.
So when we let the words, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together,” ruminate in our minds and hold them close to our hearts, they have meaning beyond understanding not only to unbelievers, but for some saved souls that haven’t yet reached the full comprehension of their depth. Words can barely explain the peace known to those who hold Him close. In all things, which He created and holds together, those things that ail or trouble us begin to feel inconsequential in light of this. Not that we’re called to a standard of unfeeling numbness during our trials, but that we can accept what comes and move forward, welcoming each day with acceptance of whatever daily bread He brings us. Whenever we are out of balance, putting other things before Him, we run the risk of despairing of things that are in His providential hands.
He comes before you, your spouse, your children, your Church, your work demands, and your social calendar. In taking time to spend with Him in His Word and in communion with Him in prayer, you’re inevitably saturating yourself with Him, nurturing an intimate bond that will grow and consume your life. The life that deals with the ups and downs to be expected, but takes it all in, absorbing it through His eyes instead of our faulty lenses. Whichever camp you stand in, the mindset that you can pull yourself together or the belief that perpetually soaking up self help advisement will keep your head above stormy waters, both sides are unsustainable. The only thing that’ll pull you up and give you the strength to tread water is He who created all things; the proverbial glue that holds all things in their proper place. Once you fully embrace this truth, pray that it never fades because, in it, is the joy and contentment that supersedes all pain.