Life is a tangled mess of trials and responsibilities, the things that keep you up at night worrying and make that time before breakfast the orneriest moments of your life. On top of that, we are sinners, and so we fail to take the lemons life hands us and make that lemonade everyone is talking about. If the world won’t get you, your own stupidity will.
But when you reach the end of your rope, it’s more than just space for a noose. The footprints in the sand story is a bit cheesy, but it’s spot-on. The moments when you can’t handle life are the ones when it’s most obvious that Christ is carrying you through it.
The Gospel is about a lot of things. It’s about forgiveness and new life and a better relationship with our Father. But it is also the simple statement that Christ has already won. He took all the consequences of our own sin in the worst of possible circumstances and then he died. And when he was done dying, he got up and kept going. There is no sin and burden that he has not already paid for, no amount of stress he has not already dealt with.
And now let me get on my soapbox. I’m a Calvinist, which means I believe that God is all-powerful, that he has planned out every last moment from here to kingdom come, and that every last hair on my head has a place in that plan. He has promised us that all things work together for those who love him, that if we take up our cross and follow him, we will become more like him. He didn’t promise it would be easy, but he promised he would deliver us, and that it would be worth it. And because God is in control, and because we trust him, that’s a guarantee.
I’m not a grade-A theologian, but I do know that we’re supposed to lay our burdens on Christ. That means all our burdens of sin and stress and worry, we’re to ask him to take care of them, and quit worrying so much. The tangled mess that is life is never going to defeat you. You are in Christ, and Christ has already won.