Have you ever become frustrated while trying to unscrew the lid of a pickle jar or some other container?  No matter how hard you try, you just can’t get a grip on the lid.  Yesterday one of my friends was trying to remove the lid from a travel mug and finally decided to wait until she got home.  We both agreed that one of those nifty rubber grippers we have in our home kitchens would likely do the trick.  And of course, if all else fails, we can always rely on the assistance of the man of the house!  In reality, life bears a striking resemblance to our attempts to get a grip on these various types of containers.  In the same way we experience frustration while trying to unscrew a lid, there are times in life when we become frustrated due to the circumstances surrounding us, to the point of almost giving up.  No matter what we do, there are moments when we simply cannot get a grip.

Whether it is a traffic jam on the way to work, a power outage right in the middle of dinner preparation, or a call from a telemarketer when you’ve just sat down to relax after a long day, there are always unforeseen things that happen to interrupt our otherwise routine schedule.  Sometimes these interruptions, though often miniscule and unimportant, become blown out of proportion when we are dealt one on top of the other.  It’s the same way with the pickle jar analogy.  Even though unscrewing the lid off of a jar should not be a big ordeal, it can cause severe frustration if multiple attempts do not produce success.  And while these daily interruptions like an unexpected phone call or an extra stop at a traffic light should not ruffle our feathers, there are times when all of the frustrations of the day and of life in general surmount to the point where we find it hard to keep things in perspective.  Although it is often hard to keep our perspective, we need to focus on Jesus Christ.  He is the Solid Rock on which we can stand, even in a world of uncertainty.

From the eleven o’clock news to the local newspaper, it becomes more difficult every day to come to terms with the troubling stories as they unfold right before our eyes.  A father takes his own life and the life of his children.  A prominent individual slanders the name of Jesus Christ.  A drunk driver causes a tragic accident that kills innocent bystanders.  Seeing all of the sorrow and pain in the world, it makes us wonder how this world can last even another day.  Jesus said, “‘You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.  Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be famines and earthquakes in various places’” (Matthew 24:6-7 NIV).  But do not be discouraged!  You see, He also said, “‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world’” (John 16:33 NIV).  No matter what happens, there is hope in Jesus Christ.

What about you?  Perhaps you are fighting a battle of your own.  Maybe you are dealing with depression, feeling as if you cannot get a grip no matter how hard you try.  Every day, you try to focus on the positive only to drift back to those negative thoughts of disappointment and despair.  Or you may be struggling with an addiction, whether it is drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or even an addiction with food that is the cause of your obesity.  There may be moments when you feel that there is no point to trying to wean off of the habit, with the firm belief that you could never make a change.  You could be sitting in the waiting room, wondering when your family member will finally get well enough to come home, having been in the hospital for days or weeks or months.  It may seem like there has been no improvement and you wonder if they will make it through.  Whatever you’re facing today, don’t lose hope.  Jesus will help you cope with your circumstances.  He will help you get a grip on your emotions, your health, and your life.

Friend, I want you to know that everything is going to be okay.  I realize that life may seem hopeless.  Your mind is likely filled with doubt, having struggled with something in your life to the point of complete and utter frustration.  But even in the darkest of midnight, there is sunshine awaiting you.  Jesus Christ is the Light in a world of darkness.  Just like the times you’ve tried to grip the lid on a pickle jar, you might need some assistance.  Don’t rely on your own strength to unscrew the lid.  Rely on God, the One who created you in His image.  Isaiah 40:29 (NIV) says, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”  Depend on Jesus Christ who loves you unconditionally.  Whenever you’re frustrated to the point of wanting to throw the jar on the ground, or throw your life by the wayside, allow Him to be your strength when you are weary.  Allow Him to help you handle life’s problems as they come your way.  Allow Him to help you get a grip!  Even when you feel like you’ll slip and fall, Jesus will always be there.  Grip His hand tightly because He will never, ever let you go.

In Christ’s Love,