A line in one of the verses of the hymn, ‘I will sing the wondrous story’, speaks of ‘days of darkness’ that ‘still come o’er me. Sorrow’s paths I often tread’. Reassuringly the following lines declare, ‘But the Saviour still is with me. By His hand I’m safely led’. Such honest words of struggle aren’t perhaps so common in our contemporary worship songs, but the words from that old hymn have been a comfort to me many times when I’ve gone through difficult days in my walk with the Lord.
I experienced such a time recently when it seemed as if the Lord’s face was hidden. Perhaps it was because, as a family, we had reached the first anniversary of the death of my dad, with the painful memories it invoked. As I went through that time, it seemed as if I was accompanied by a crowd of anxious thoughts and fears. They ranged over such issues as my health, or whether our heating system would fail. It was the verse for today’s Seed which came as light and encouragement from the Lord, and lifted my eyes back on Him, who, as that hymn had promised, was there all the time.
In today’s verse, some translations use ‘all things’ or ‘everything’ instead of the word ‘universe’, as the ESV does, but it was the ESV rendering that particularly spoke to my heart. This verse is telling us that the vast universe which we live in, and everything in it, is literally held together by the authority and powerful word of Jesus, the Son of God. Unbelieving scientists may argue that it’s the attraction of atomic particles that is responsible for doing that, but God’s word assures us that Jesus is the One who is really holding everything together.
Here's the amazing truth. If Jesus is holding the universe together, with its countless stars and galaxies, He is well able to hold our lives together too. He made that truth personal when He told His disciples, and us, not to worry about our lives. Our Heavenly Father even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
I’ve been thinking of that old song, often reserved for Sunday School children, ‘He’s got the whole world in His hands’. The verses become progressively more personal, eventually addressing you and me with, ‘He’s got you and me, brother, in His hands, He’s got you and me, sister, in His hands’. Maybe there’s someone reading this Seed today and you’re feeling very aware of the fragility of your life. If that’s you, I pray that you will know the assurance that you are in the safe hands of Jesus, upheld by His powerful word.
Here are some words of encouragement from God’s heart in the song ‘Just be Held’ by Casting Crowns: ‘So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away, you’re not alone. Stop holding on and just be held. Your world’s not falling apart. It’s falling into place.
I’m on the throne. Stop holding on and just be held’.
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