Hold the Line (Philippians 1.27-28 (TLB))

“But whatever happens to me, remember always to live as Christians should, so that whether I ever see you again or not, I will keep on hearing good reports that you are standing side by side with one strong purpose—to tell the Good News 28 fearlessly, no matter what your enemies may do. They will see this as a sign of their downfall, but for you it will be a clear sign from God that he is with you, and that he has given you eternal life with him.”

Philippians 1.27-28 (TLB)

If you have ridden a motorcycle, you know how important it is to drive defensively. Even briefly, inattention could be the difference between safety and severe injury. My spouse and I were riding early one evening. We rounded a sharp corner on a two-lane country road, and in front of us were three deer standing in the middle of the road and two more emerging from the trees. What flashed in my mind was a startled deer knocking us over or getting in front of us and the motorcycle striking them broadside. I cannot say that I planned some incredible maneuvers in that split-second. I knew to keep a straight line and hope our passing through them didn’t startle them. However, there wasn’t time to think. I just held the line and drove slowly through the middle of them; miraculously, we avoided severe injury.

There are individuals whose occupations experience sporadic chaos and trauma. Whether it be a trauma room, an accident scene, or a household crisis, there was one beneficial skill, “holding the line.” The ability to remain focused on the task regardless of what was happening around them. It is a tunnel vision where your mental faculties seem to slow down, allowing you to focus solely on your task or responsibility, despite visual and auditory distractions- the chaos. Some describe this ability as learned through life events of trauma and turmoil or “thriving” through trauma and disorder. (Ps. 68:5; 146:9; Job 29:12 ESV)

Do you know someone who is struggling in chaos? Do you feel pressed on both sides? As children of God, we can look to the Word. Because we know He cares. He assures, “[w]e are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Cor. 4:8–9) We do not have to be fearful or dismayed when storms come because God will strengthen and uphold us. (Is. 41:10) He will keep us in perfect peace if our mind stays on the Lord.

Hold the line because you trust Him. (Is. 26:3) When you find yourself in difficult times, turn to Him and cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you. (1 Pet. 5:7). Focus on Him, not the distractions. We cannot always exert control over events, or others, but we can exert control over ourselves.

Isn’t it wonderful that you can turn to Him, and He will give you His peace? Not peace that the world asserts it provides, but perfect peace. So, don’t be troubled (John 14:27). By realizing He is in the storm with you. Remember the disciples on the Sea of Galilee? Who was in the boat with them during the storm? Where was their focus? It was in the storm – the chaos. Indeed, where did the Lord imply their focus should have been? It should be on Him-Perfect Peace, the One who had the power over everything. (Mark 4:35–40)

Is it different now? Where should we focus in trials, storms, or chaos? On Him. Find encouragement. Regardless of the storm or trials, you have a God who never leaves or forsakes us. (Deut. 31:6, 8; Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20). He walks us through chaos, even into the darkest valleys. (Ps. 23)

The next time someone asks you how you handle a stressful situation, be prepared to share the Good News of how He helps you hold the line. (1 Pet. 3:15). To joyfully proclaim the One who not only gives you the power to withstand but is right there with you amid the storm. Because we trust Him in every situation, even while riding a motorcycle, avoiding deer, or any other crisis confronting us, when storms come, focus on the One with you and the One who will help you hold the line. (1 Corinthians 16:13).

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