Our world is filled with hurting people who have lives that are spinning out of control with pain we didn’t ask for or could ever even imagine. And God is making a promise to us, saying, “I am a universe maker and I am a heart former, but I am also big enough to be intimately acquainted with all the circumstances of every one of your lives, and I promise you, no matter what comes in this lifetime, no matter how difficult the road or how dark the night, I will hold onto you and I will literally hold you together.” -Louie Giglio
I have to be honest. Sometimes I think I’ve got it all figured out.
And then something in my life doesn’t go as planned. Nope. In fact, things go the exact opposite of what I wanted. That’s when I get a massive reality check and suddenly realize I haven’t been surrendering my life to God. I’d been trying to do things all on my own. Let me tell you, this experience is humbling.
The truth is that I don’t know a single thing about how the God of the universe works all things together for good (Romans 8:28). What do I mean by that? Well, I understand that good things can come out of a tragic event, but I don’t always get to see the whole story unfold and I definitely don’t always get an answer when I ask, “Why, God?”
But the important thing is that I do know this: In every season, he holds me together. And he holds you together, too.
This is something I learned from a scripture verse that has recently helped me during a difficult time. It’s Colossians 1:17, and it says this:
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
The first time you read that, you might not really get it. Read it again. Let it sink in. Integrate yourself into that verse: “He is before all things, and in him I am held together.” That means we can trust in God because, first of all, he existed before any of us and he created us. We can also trust in him because he holds ALL things together, meaning that even when our worst nightmares come true, we can know that he will take care of us. He will never forsake us. He will hold us. And he will hold us together.
Often times when I pray and ask God to help me or someone else, I use the phrase “God, please be with me and/or them.” It was only after a loving friend pointed it out that I realized the silliness of this request. God is always with us. We just need to draw near to him and he will draw near to us (James 4:8)! This gives me SO much security during any storm. All I have to do is draw near and then trust. He will never leave me.
Now here’s the part where things get kinda cool. When I first read Colossians 1:17, I initially thought that it was only referring to the fact that God holds me together in mind and spirit. And he does! But some say it means even more. Watch this video clip of Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta and speaker and founder of the Passion movement. This may be old news to some, but I just learned of it recently. In this clip, Louie talks about Laminin, a protein molecule that literally holds us together. When he first Googled the term, he had no idea what he would find. Check it out:
Isn’t that amazing? Some say it’s no coincidence that Laminin is shaped like the Cross. And honestly, it should be no surprise to us that it is God who holds us together, even in body. Scripture tells us that he created us and he formed us (Colossians 1:15). He even knew us before we were born and knitted us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139).
While some may argue that it’s just coincidence and that we have no proof of God purposely making this protein in the shape of the Cross, the point is not only that God is powerful enough to have created everything on this earth (including you and me), but also that he cares enough to take care of each of us! No matter what comes our way–the loss of a loved one, a really bad breakup, family drama, physical injury–all we have to do is get on our knees, give our hurt to God and then simply trust. He knows how much our pain hurts and he understands us better than anyone else. He will heal our broken hearts and we will have a story to tell when we’re on the other side of our hard times if we trust him (Please read Psalm 34:18-22 and James 1:2-4!).
As trials come and go in my own life, I have to constantly remind myself that this earth is not my home. And thank God! It is not the end, but it is instead preparing us for eternity in heaven if we give our lives to him. As long as he holds me together–that is, as long as I am on this earth–I will praise him!
If you’re questioning God’s existence or faithfulness in a hard time, just turn to Colossians 1 and any Psalm I have referenced. I pray it would give you the peace that it has given me. During those times when I don’t have all the answers, the best thing I can do is wait, trust and ask the Holy Spirit to fill me with his peace.