Hanging on by a Thread

I look outside today, and the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the flowers are in bloom. That’s what my little corner of the world looks like, but in the midst of such an optimistic environment, I’ve become increasingly aware of lives that are under horrific attack and just hanging on by a thread.

You might be one of those souls — can’t see the light for the darkness within.

As I’ve heard their stories, prayed with and for them, and shake my head in disbelief at the load they carry, this song comes to mind:

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen; Nobody knows my sorrow. Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen. Glory, Hallelujah. Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen; Nobody knows but Jesus. Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen. Glory, Hallelujah. Sometimes I’m up, Sometimes I’m down. Oh, yes, Lord. Sometimes I’m almost to the ground. Oh, yes, Lord.

Negro Spiritual

What a powerful reminder from someone who felt the weight of evil and brokenness. They understood the reality having faced such a pounding, physically and emotionally, that it seemed impossible for anyone to grasp the amount of hurt and sorrow they carried. Yet, even in this powerful song, they realized there is one who can and does know and understand — Jesus.

The pain is still there, the up days, the down days — the days when we’re almost to the ground, but Jesus is down there with us.

Glory, Hallelujah.

As my heart cried out to the Lord for these dear, hurting souls, I’m so thankful we have a Bible full of wounded heroes of the faith, for we too can turn to their songs, their spiritual cries for help and make them our own.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

Job 1:20-22 (NIV)

In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. And she made a vow, saying, “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life.

1 Samuel 1:10-11

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Psalm 40:1-3

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 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. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:19-24

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Habakkuk 3:17-18

My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death…My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will but as you will.

Matthew 26:38-39

Jesus knows your sorrow. Lay it at his feet. Let the thread you’re hanging onto be him.

Grace and peace


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