Sometimes life seems kind of messed up, doesn’t it? We work hard, we love, we laugh, we cry and we still have no way of predicting or even controlling what circumstances come crashing into our lives. There is no system of checks and balances when it comes to being hit hard by circumstances or tragedy.
Yet in the midst of all this pain and heartache comes a promise from the same person, who for whatever reason, allows all of this stuff to happen. The promise? That He will give us the strength to endure the unendurable.
I found this promise in God’s Word when I was sitting on the edge of a hospital bed, waiting to be brought up to the operating room. In the book of Colossians, Paul wrote:
“[We pray that you’ll be] strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his people in the kindgom of light” Colossians 1:11-12 (TNIV).
Had I realized the significance of this verse before undergoing what was supposed to be a relatively straightforward surgery and recovery, I would have gotten up and ran out of that hospital, but we really don’t have any what of knowing what comes our way do we?
We have no way of knowing before hanging up the phone that the conversation we just had with our loved one would be our last conversation with that person on this side of eternity. We have no way of knowing that the presentation we just made at work would be our last one as an employee of that company. We have no way of knowing or even predicting our circumstances.
For me that meant being blind-sided with an infection after surgery that was so severe it required another surgery, lots of time in the hospital and months of difficult recovery afterwards. For others it looks differently, but the struggle is still the same.
But in the midst of all of our struggles and pain and grief, we find strength to endure what seems unendurable. We find hope that carries us through the darkest nights. We find peace that calms the rocky storms in our hearts. We find comfort that quiets us when the pain is intense. We find Christ in our circumstances, and we find that He is enough.
He is enough for the grieving widow. He is enough for the college student struggling to make ends met. He is enough for the pastor who just can’t go on. He is enough for the patient who is in a fight for their life.
No matter what we face or what we go through, He is enough.
I found this to be true one night while in lying in a hospital bed. My fever was raging, my hemoglobin had dropped dangerously low, and my open incision was gushing out blood like there was no tomorrow. My physical strength was gone, emotionally I was a wreck, my family had left for the night, and I hadn’t heard from many of my closest friends in weeks. Yet even in that moment, Christ met me there when I cried out to Him. He didn’t stop the bleeding, my fever was still there, and I was still physically alone in that room, but everything had changed because of the presence of Christ.
That encounter took place three months ago. Since then I’ve had multiple infections. I’ve had to have my incision packed (and unpacked) over seventy times, and I’ve fought to rebuild my strength. Yet having Christ with me through it all has made all the difference. Instead of depending on my strength, as I had in the past, I was now depending on His, and it’s been more than enough to carry me.
This is exactly what Jesus was talking about when He said: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28, TNIV).
This is the invitation that Christ extends to everyone of us. He doesn’t promise that we’ll have a perfect life—He certainly didn’t. What He does promise is that when go through life with Him and invite Him into everything, He helps to carry the load.
And His strength is limitless; His peace is powerful; His love is everlasting. He is enough.