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  • Writer's pictureGail Gritts

Hang In There

Updated: Feb 29

When my youngest son was in school, he participated in the annual Christmas play. This was not your traditional Nativity, but one based around the children acting out a variety of nursery rhymes. His group sang Three Little Devils. Do you know that one? “Three little devils, All dressed in red, Trying to get to heaven on the end of a thread….” It had nothing to do with Christmas, and I was almost offended that they chose the preacher’s kid to be a devil. Many of us know how that little devil felt. We, too, feel like we are hanging on by a thread. Life is hard, challenging, and full of uncertainty. It leaves us feeling like we might lose our grip as the whole thing implodes. I know I have felt like that. The housework, the demands of parenting, the trying to keep up of appearances, dealing with the spouse, ministry pressures, and trying to convince myself I am a valid person without letting others know I am hanging on by a thread is overwhelming. I found myself looking for help in any place I could find. I’d read self-help books, gave myself a good talking to, took long walks, cried, hid in my room, blasted out in anger, became more demanding, even tried to run away, but none of that helped for very long. It only created more problems and increased the guilt in my heart. I have only found one thing that kept me hanging on. Kandi Gallaty, in her book Disciple Her, states, “In a world in flux, it (God’s Word) is our one constant for direction, guidance, encouragement, motivation, inspiration, confrontation, conviction, and remembrance. In John 8:31-32, Jesus said something interesting…He used the word continue, which means to remain, abide, to keep being present. (“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”) It is an ongoing relationship, not a momentary one. By continuing, you will know the truth, and that truth will set you free. It will deliver you and liberate you. I like to rhyme when I can, so I tell women I disciple, ‘In order to survive and thrive, you need to abide.’ We need to be grounded and rooted in the word of God.” (p 11) As I copied out her quote, I remembered a discussion I had with a dear friend about finding answers to the lies Satan whispers. You know what they are. They are the ones we hear when we are frantically trying to hang on—you’re not good enough. Others are better than you. You’ll never be a good enough parent, spouse, co-worker, etc. As we talked about how to continue growing spiritually under pressure, we agreed that God teaches us as we keep our walk close to Him making His word a priority and using it to strengthen our grip. It is scripture that brings release from mental oppression as God’s truth clears the cobwebs. Scripture’s light, shining in the dark places of our minds and hearts, gives guidance and direction. Each time we take an honest look into the word, we find truth to break the bonds of Satan’s lies, experience grace, and increase our strength to hang in there a little longer. As a fellow traveler, let me assure you this idea of continuing in God’s word is a major secret to life’s success. Only by continuing to hang in there will you be able to look back and see the hand of God in your life. Only by a tight grasp of the word will you navigate the complexities of life and come out with a good reward. When you are in the midst of grief, fear, worry, or whatever dart the enemy hurls at you, God’s word is your surest defense. So, keep your sword close and learn to wield it effectively, even if you can only use one hand! Let me give you one more way to look at this thread. Remember the story of the prostitute, Rahab? She hung a scarlet cord out her window as a memento of protection from the advancing Israeli army. Her life was literally hanging by a thread. But what a secure thread! It was the promise of God’s protection over her and her family. We also have a part in that scarlet thread through the shed blood of Christ, the promises of God, and eternal salvation, so grab hold and hang on!

Psalm 27:13, 14 is a favorite scripture that keeps me hanging on!

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”

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