We were supposed to be on a flight back to Mongolia today. But that flight was cancelled. So we re-booked for next week. Then that flight was cancelled too (as I’m writing this we’re in the midst of the covid-19 scare, still trying to understand and react to the threat it poses). So we’re staying in the US for at least another month and we’re figuring out where and when and how. We are exhausted from all the changes in our lives and the millions of decisions we need to make because of all those changes.
Right now, it takes a lot to sustain our weary souls.
I’m reading a book right now called In Want + Plenty: Waking Up to God’s Provision in a Land of Longing where the author, Meredith McDaniel, explores how God sustained his people with manna after the Exodus and how He provides for us in difficult seasons. God preserved the Hebrews by daily providing food from heaven. Because man cannot live by bread alone, God also spiritually sustains us daily.
In some seasons of life we’re more aware of our need for preservation.
Sometimes our grief is too heavy to carry on our own; we need Him to carry it with us and to preserve us under its weight.
Sometimes the needs of others (our kids, parents, friends, spouses, parents) wear us so thin that we fear our souls would tear…or fade to non-existence…without Him holding us together.
Sometimes the weight of our leadership responsibilities are far beyond our capabilities and we acknowledge that we are sustained only by His grace and wisdom.
Looking back at the times we’ve seen God care for and preserve is people in Scripture (like the story in Exodus) reminds us that He cares for the details of our lives and it helps us to see that He will sustain us just like He has always preserved and sustained his people.
But this is only part of what it means that God is the Creator and Preserver of all things.
Colossians 1 shows us an equally practical but less obvious way that God sustains and preserves us. “He [Jesus] is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” And Hebrews 1:3 says, “The Son is…sustaining all things by his powerful word.”
In addition to creating all things, He holds all things together, or sustains all things. That means if it weren’t for Jesus, all things would fall apart, at the most basic level. The atoms wouldn’t stick together and the bonds between elements would break. There would be no water, no H2O, because the H and the O would float away from each other and disappear.
If Jesus didn’t hold all things together, everything would spin out of control or cease to exist.
There would be no more people, no more earth, no more galaxies, no more anything.
He didn’t start all this then step back and watch it spin. He is currently, actively holding it together so that it continues to spin and continues to exist.
Chances are, one of these two truths will be more helpful for you:
Either you’ll start universally and go particular: the God who preserves the universe is certainly capable of preserving your life and your soul in the midst of the grief or the chaos.
Or you start particular and go universal: the God who cares for your life and your soul in the midst of this chaos is, amazingly, the same God who preserves the whole world.
We see God’s power (He holds all things together) and we see his care (He will preserve YOU!)
So, today, we take a deep breath and we let Him sustain our souls as we worship in wonder because the One who preserves the entire universe.