Community. Conversation. Connection.

What’s Really Holding You Up?

A few weeks ago I was on a trail taking a jog. Beauty was all around from the trees to small waterfalls to boulders, but I noticed something and struck me as odd.

There was a very large rock on top of other rocks. Someone had lodged a long stick in there, barely bigger than a twig, so that it looked like the stick was holding up this giant rock.

There was no confusion on my part as to the origins of this anomaly. A person had come by and for whatever reason–being funny or boredom– they wedged it in there.

The thought did occur to me, “how many times have I thought my puny stick was holding everything together, keeping it from collapsing?”

Too many times to count.

Psychologists have a fancy name for our twigs: coping mechanisms. There is nothing wrong with them in general, but we don’t have to worry when they fail us.

The rocks that loom large, threatening to crush us, have no right to fall. They are being held by a force much stronger than my limited reasoning abilities and logical understanding. My Father has it all under control and I don’t have to worry.

He must find it fairly humorous as you and I protect our little sticks by fretting and keeping people away. We panic when we see the hints of weakness, but it’s needless and fruitless.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. –1 Peter 5:6-7

The king is not saved by a mighty army; A warrior is not delivered by great strength.
A horse is a false hope for victory; Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength. –Psalm 33:16-17

…It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save. –Isaiah 63:1

Your job isn’t holding you up. Your family can’t keep the weight from crushing you. Your money in the bank can’t save you from every trial. Your connections and influence won’t keep you safe. Everything threatens, but those whose trust is in the Lord will not be shaken (Psalm 125:1).

Just a reminder and an encouragement for all of us. All those things we are so worried about are just sticks. They don’t hold any lasting significance and we can rest safely in His arms and love.

What do you think? What kind of ‘sticks’ have you used in your life? What helps you remember their proper place?

14 Comments

  1. Couldn’t help but think of the Scripture in Psalm 20:7- “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” I have had too many sticks holding me up along my path. I am much better off when I trust where, no WHOM, I am to trust.
    bill (cycleguy) recently posted..PrideMy Profile

    • If we’ve got the WHOM, the where, when, and how can fall into place for sure. Thank you so much, Bill.

  2. My little puny sticks always brake. And when I think everything is coming down to crush me, I close my eyes, but my hands over my head and brace myself for the blow…but…no blow comes…i slowly open my eyes and it’s there hovering over me…held by powerful invisible nailed scared hands…
    Arny recently posted..Jesus VS Mr. CleanMy Profile

    • Love it! Absolutely. Our fear pushes us to make rash and wrong decisions, but He is holding and sustaining us as He always has. Thank you, Arny!

  3. Coping mechanism/sticks. Hmmm. Well with my Mom making a slow but sure recovery in the hospital. my current coping mechanism/stick is called hope…hope that she will be able to get better and come home soon. But God is faithful and taking care of things, and so I remember that He has it all in His hands.
    Ed recently posted..WORSE THAN UNBELIEVERS!My Profile

    • Hope in Him and His faithfulness is not just a coping mechanism, brother! It’s a life changing power carried by the Holy Spirit. Praying with you for your mom. I know that feeling (my mom had open heart surgery in January). Blessings to you, Ed. Thank you.

  4. Awesome analogy and teaching point. How true. It is the not us who are holding up the world and our lives, it is the mighty hand of God…

    We live with the illusion that we have power… That’s called ignorance or “willfully foolish.” I think we all need to be reminded of this truth.

    Homerun dude!

    • I especially need reminding of this truth! That’s the biggest reason I write this stuff. :) Thanks so much, Floyd.

  5. Any time I start trusting in my stick more than in God, He has a nasty habit of breaking said stick. When I thought I trusted God completely with my finances, I lost my job and realized I was trusting my money more than Him. But I also saw that even if I don’t have a full time job, He is bigger than my bills. My sticks can’t protect me nor provide for me. Only He can.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Building a Better ResourceMy Profile

    • Yeah, great truth there. I seem to have those lessons continually actually. :) Thanks so much, Jason.

  6. I have definitely been guilty of trusting other things to hold me up rather than God. At times it has been my job, my family or money. Thankfully God continually reminds me that He alone is to be my solid foundation because when I put my trust in the things of this world I will always end up disappointed but when I put my complete trust in Him I will never be disappointed!
    Kevin Martineau recently posted..2 things that prevent us from believing that God loves usMy Profile

    • I’m with you, Kevin. And when I realize I’m trusting these things and they’re not holding me up and never have, it makes me honor Him all the more. Even while I didn’t recognize it was Him, He was still there, my loving Father. He’s so good! Thank you, Kevin.

  7. Thank you for this post, I really needed this today. GOD BLESS!!!!

    • So glad to hear it, Vince! Thank you.