Decades back, former procrastinators, some popular lyrics went like this:
“Why does the sun go on shining?… Why do the stars glow above? Don’t they know it’s the end of the world? It ended when I lost your love.”
I understand those questions. Maybe you do too. We might change the wording. “It ended when _____.” A diagnosis, a pink slip, an accident, a divorce, a death or something else socks you in the stomach and takes your breath away. It’s so severe you do not know what to do now or how to act going forward.
Gratefully, the routine God established in our bodies keeps us breathing even if it’s ragged. His grace.
Contained in those lyrics is an expression of God’s grace through priorities and routine. The sun and stars do keep shining. They keep sustaining life and giving light. They keep providing day and night as He designed. The structure God gave them provides structure we need in our shattered state. Because of them we find we must tend to certain needs. We begin to move with rhythms of day and night, taking one step, then another in that framework.
This is a seldom-mentioned benefit of routine and priorities. To the extent we can hold onto them, they help us put one foot in front of the other, navigating some life until our feet are on the ground and we can breathe without gasping.
There have been times when, if I hadn’t had children to care for, I would’ve curled up in bed and stayed there in my stunned state. But children depended on me. They needed me; I needed them and their needs. I didn’t do it very well, but I took steps. God’s grace.
Sometimes when something knocks the breath out of you, it’s hard to breathe for a day or two. Sometimes it’s hard to breathe for years. Definitely get help. Seek the Lord and seek competent counseling help in the body of Christ. Also get help for daily or weekly chores.
Sometimes it’s necessary to set new priorities and entirely scrap the routine that used to serve you well. Don’t fret over that. His Holy Spirit will guide you at a pace good for you. Trust Him because He is faithful.
You may feel that your anchor has been pulled up and you’re adrift at sea, subject to waves and winds that will destroy you. You are not – because Christ is your anchor and He holds sure. You are in His arms and His love exceeds all else. His love is steadfast.
Why does the sun go on shining? Because God’s grace is at work. We should express our deep anguish, but – also by God’s grace – remember other lyrics:
“Because he lives I can face tomorrow
Because he lives all fear is gone
Because I know, I know he holds the future
And life is worth the living just because he lives.” (Gaither)
When did God hold onto you through a long storm?