I’ve never been to a rodeo. I’ve never seen a bull snorting in his pen (except on YouTube), nor smelled the dust from his clawing hoofs, but at a shopping mall not far from my apartment, there is a mechanical bull set up in the middle of a wide open space. Restaurants line the outer edges of the space so one can sip a cup of coffee or tea or munch on a burger and watch youngsters try their luck at staying on this jerking form. Most kids last about 30 seconds and down they go. Some of them get up and try again.
Sometimes living in this unpredictable world feels like I’m riding a bull! There seems to be a gravitational pull coming from somewhere, trying to throw me to the ground. Tactics vary and take me off guard. At one turn in the road, I’m hit with fear of loss of control or self-doubt. At other times, circumstances and health issues pitch me into a pit of discouragement and depression. And then the sneering accusations come: “See, I told you, you couldn’t hang on! I told you that you weren’t smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, good enough, or just too old. You fell off again, just give up.” The jerk!!!
I don’t know where that voice comes from, but guess what? It won’t work. I am holding on through faith; I’m holding on for dear life! If I fall off, I’ll get on again, no matter how many times it takes. The scriptures have a lot to say about “holding on” or “holding fast.” Here are just a few verses:
As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience (Luke 8:15).
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).
Only hold fast what you have until I [Jesus] come (Revelation 2:25).
I [Jesus] am coming soon. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one may seize your crown (Revelation 3:11).
This life I’ve been given is much greater than blood and bones and breathing. It’s about holding on to the One who has given His life for me: “…And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20b).
When something tries to “throw you down,” hold on, hold on by faith to the promises of God, who promised never to leave or forsake you!