The first time I heard this week’s song (Steady My Heart by Kari Jobe) was sometime last year. One of my best friends shared it with me as a way to encourage my heart. Ever since then, I’ve been praying those lyrics over my life and the lives of those surrounding me.
If you haven’t realized it already, I have this weird fascination with words. I like putting them together, I like discovering new meanings. I love when the weight of a word just falls on me and slams right into my face. Words are art. They can be personal and intimate or public and boisterous – it all depends on how you wield them.
Even when it hurts, even when it’s hard,
Even when it all just falls apart.
I will run to You, ’cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul, Healer of my scars.
You steady my heart
Just take a moment to think about those words. Let them sink into your soul.
Even when our entire world is crashing down around us, we have somewhere to go. We have Someone to run to. We don’t have to stand there and let the rubble bury us alive.
The psalmist knew this Truth too:
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
as is your way with those who love your name.
Keep steady my steps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity get dominion over me.
These verses remind me of Romans 8:28. He is eternally gracious to those who love Him. He blesses us while we are here on this earth and even more so, when we leave this earth for our eternal Home in Heaven. As children of the Living God, our sin no longer has dominion over us. He has conquered death so that we might live. Praise God for this Truth! Praise God for this Hope He has given us!
Hope. That’s something I never understood before. “Yeah, yeah. We have hope because we have God.” That was my immediate reaction to the word “hope.” I had heard that word all too often. It no longer held meaning for me. Saying it left a bitter taste in my mouth.
Hope? You want me to have hope? My life is falling apart all around me, God. And instead of fixing it, you’re telling me to trust You, to put my hope in You?!
I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.
I didn’t want to wrap my mind around it.
And so my stubbornness further led me away from the Lord.
There were seasons of my life in which Selfishness played the lead role. Other times, Pride and Arrogance battled for the spotlight. Regardless of which of my charming characteristics was playing center stage, Pain was always the subtle whisper that wielded the sword. Pain caused by others. Pain that resulted from my foolish compromises. The pain of being collateral damage. My pain was my fuel. My pain made the decisions.
And then there was the simple absence of Joy. Real Joy. I didn’t know what it felt like to be truly happy. Why? Because I had refused Hope. The idea of having hope when my life was clearly never going to get better was just ridiculous to me!
Each of us can relate to the lyrics in Kari Jobe’s song. How often have we wondered why life is so messy, so hard? How often have we wondered why pain feels like an ever-present part of our lives? For many of us, it seems like we can never escape our pain. We feel helpless and broken and at a complete loss. Sometimes our heartache feels like a physical pain, eating away at us, tugging at the muscles holding our heart in place. Other times, it feels like a million-pound anvil has been dropped on us. Traumatic. Intense. Obliterating. In these moments it’s crucial that we actively seek the Lord.
Years passed before I understood for myself what Hope is. It’s knowing that in the end I’ll be just fine – no, more than fine. It’s knowing that my God, who is faithful to His promises, has prepared a place in Heaven, just for me. It’s experiencing real Joy – and to the fullest. It’s knowing that one day, my pain will be extinguished. It’s knowing that one glorious day, I will be taken from this place of tears and struggle and disaster to a place of pure delight. And on that day, not a single tear of sadness will fall from my eyes. Not a single pang of heartache will inflict my heart.
So in times of struggle, in times of pain, don’t shut Him out. Don’t refuse the Hope He offers. Ask Him to steady your heart and your mind. Confusion, anxiety, and frustration attack us on all fronts, but the Lord is our Strength! In Him, we have absolutely nothing to fear. We may not understand, but He surely does. We may not be able to handle the anxiety, but He most certainly can. We may be prone to lashing out in our frustration, but His loving patience more than compensates for us.
When you feel the weight of life on your shoulders, when you feel your knees buckling under you, when you feel the pressures of this life on your soul, look to Him. Let Him steady your heart.