When Life Feels Fragile and Uncertain

Nearly all of us know the scary feeling of everything around us seeming to fall apart or crumbling in on us. Relationships change through death, divorce, dysfunction, or distance. Finances fold or families are torn asunder. The job is yanked away or the move doesn’t materialize. Cancer or congestive heart failure come for the ones we love. Singleness lasts too long or the marriage goes south. Friends move away or the lives we have built for ourselves go through a heartrending transformation. Our security and comfort levels are challenged by transitions we are facing. When that thing happens and our lives feel fragile and uncertain, what then?

What do we do? Where do we go? How do we respond? How do we survive?

Questions, anxiety, stress, sleepless nights, and tears threaten to respond for us. Our natural instincts come to the rescue, pushing us to flee from it or fight it.

But rather than falling to pieces with our shaky lives, the word of God calls us to something far better.

See Jesus

Instead of being swept away with deep emotions in the midst of our life’s storms, Jesus calls us to stop staring at the waves and look at him. We do not have a Savior who leaves us alone in our suffering, doubts, or fears. Rather, we have a Savior who joins us in our boats (Matt. 14:22-33). We are sure to sink in our questions and anxieties when we look away from Jesus to the waves that are threatening to choke out our lives. But in the fixing of our eyes on Jesus and desiring for him to receive glory in our lives, our own fears—and our lives themselves—recede to the background. In all things, he must become greater and I must become less (John 3:30).

“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:8)

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chron. 20:12)

“Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (Psalm 105:4)

Go to Jesus

Our seeing Jesus needs to be followed by going to Jesus with everything that is weighing us down, breaking our hearts, or otherwise consuming our very lives. He is an able and willing Savior (Is. 46:4). He is near to us in our brokenness (Ps. 34:18), and calls us to bring our anxieties and burdens to him (1 Pet. 5:7; Matt. 11:28). We have a sympathetic High Priest who has known sorrows and wants to give us mercy and grace in our times of need (Heb. 4:14-16). And his Spirit helps us in our weakness, when we do not even know what to pray (Rom. 8:26).

“Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:1-2)

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”(Psalm 62:5-8)

“For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” (Is. 41:13)

Rest in Jesus and all he is for us

Because of who our God is, we can lay our cares and sorrows down at his feet. Because he has sovereignly ordained each and every one of our days, we can trust that he does and will do all things well (Mark 7:37) and that the work he has started in us, he will be faithful to finish (Phil. 1:6). Our worrying is empty and needless, as we can no more add an hour to our years as we can worry away our circumstances (Luke 12:25-31). We have a God who works for his people (Is. 64:4), so we can rest in his arms. What a Savior!

“The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deut. 33:27)

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Ps. 73:26)

“But you are the same, and your years have no end.” (Ps. 102:27)

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb. 13:8)

“For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Mal. 3:6)

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23)

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13)

Although everything around us may appear to be giving way, Jesus is our hope and stay. If we can just lift our eyes to Jesus and seek his glory above our security and comfort, we will find that in Jesus, we have the deepest security and greatest comfort. The gospel frees us from worry, because we have been redeemed from the curse of sin and death. Truly, we have nothing to fear, because our future is secure in heaven with our Savior. Jesus died to bring us to God, so we would be able to go to our God in our helpless state and find that his grace is sufficient for our weaknesses and worries.

And there is coming a day when all sorrow, fear, and loss will be swallowed up by the hands that wipe every tear from our faces. Everything in this life that hurt, scared, or broke us will be forgotten when we see God in the face of Jesus Christ. He is all and everything in the fragility of life, and it is well with our souls because of him.

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