“Do the next thing.”
It’s something I’ve heard my whole life. It’s a wise thought… that we need to keep on going, just looking at the task in front of us, taking the next step. It’s accurate and encouraging.
But when the things I hoped in disappear, and plans fail, and relationships wane, and even the most constant parts of my life seem to step out of the scene… taking the next step is the last thing I want to do.
I texted a loved one recently:
“I’m just so tired of doing the next thing.”
It’s true. I’m so tired. I’m so weary of working my backside off and COVID and not seeing people and online classes.
And no one would blame me if I crawled into my bed and slept for days or binged TV or spent hours doing nothing. After all, as every single person in this world is saying, it’s been a year.
But we aren’t called to that.
As children of God, we are called to triumphant rest.
We rest in the utmost ability of God to work all things for our good. We trust in His faithfulness. We rest because we know this daily battle has already been won. We are warriors on the winning side, and although the fight is furious, we don’t have to fear.
Jesus Christ holds all things together. (Colossians 1)
He’s the head of the church, and he’s the Creator of all. He holds every star and ant and galaxy and whale in his power. Nothing comes together or apart without his consent. ‘For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.’ (Colossians 1:16). He’s holding your life together, your heart together, your broken pieces together.
He’s holding you and every part of this beautiful, war-torn world together.
And he’s going to make it all new.
‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also, he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” ‘
If he’s making it new, we know he’s making us new too, and he’ll finish his work when the earth passes away. We can take the next step because we’re being renewed. He gives us hope as he grows us.
So we rest triumphantly in the glory of what is to come and the truth of what is today. And we do the next thing, not because it’s easy or because we have the strength. We take the next step because Jesus is holding up the ground beneath our feet. He’s holding the air that we breathe. Jesus is holding it all together.