“With you here, I am strong, no sign of weakness. With you gone, I am hanging by a thread”
— (Nickel Creek – This Side)
Have you ever felt stretched too thin?
Ever felt like you’re about two seconds away from total emotional, mental and spiritual meltdown? How do we get there? More importantly, how do we come back from that edge?
Often we’re in this situation due to the build-up of day-to-day stress and busyness which seems to engulf us. Other times, it’s just us. It’s you and me who make the decision to live outside of God’s parameters and live for ourselves for a while. And things get out of whack!
Let’s first address the latter situation. When we choose to go rogue – go on without God, even for a little while – we know it. We can sense the lack of His presence. I believe He’s made us that way.
David felt it in Psalm 51, after his sin with Bathsheba: “Wash away my guilt…for I am conscious of my rebellion…create a clean heart for me…do not banish me from Your presence…” (Ps 51:3-11 HCSB).
The contemporary bluegrass band, Nickel Creek, penned the opening words of this article. It’s so true isn’t it?! With God dismissed from our lives, we’re hanging by a thread. When He’s with us, assured by our faith in His Word and our faithfulness to Him, there’s no sign of weakness. So, we cling to Him.
Living without a Prayer
David was also familiar with that aspect of his faith. In Ps 18:21 he says, “For I have kept the ways of the Lord and have not turned from my God to wickedness.”
God doesn’t leave us. We leave Him.
Which brings us to the first of the two scenarios mentioned above: what do we do when life presses in and leaves us breathless, leaves us feeling, to steal from Bilbo Baggins, “like butter scraped over too much bread”? We haven’t left God – life has just turned on us!
Truthfully, there are no easy answers. But, there’s One to whom we can turn. Paul, in Phil 4:7, makes it clear: “And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Does that mean life’s challenges just go away when we recall our relationship with God? No. But, it’s a comfort in difficult times, isn’t it? Knowing God loves us (John 3:16), wants our troubles (1 Pet 5:7), and wants the best for us (1 Tim 2:4) should be reassuring in the worst times.
Scripture reminds us over and over…when He’s here, because of and through Him – not because of who we are – we can be strong.
With God, we don’t need to be hanging by a thread. No sign of weakness.
Clint Davison is the associate minister at the Linder Road church of Christ. He’s also a Nickel Creek fan.