Am I Gonna Make It?

Have you ever lived a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year . . or even years . . wondering if you were going to make it?

Am I gonna make it? is one of the most private thoughts we can have.  Most people don’t feel comfortable sharing the radical vertigo they’re experiencing in their head.  What would my friends think?  Would my coworkers use it against me?  Would a psychiatrist say I need to go to the funny farm?  What would my family say if they knew how vulnerable I feel?

Living like this does not feel like living.  It feels like dying, one speck at a time, with no end to the specks.

Am I gonna make it?  We want someone to say yes, but we doubt we’d believe them even if they did.  Words seem like hallways that lead nowhere, and hope seems like a key that doesn’t unlock any door.

The mind trap of Am I gonna make it? can only end two ways: redemption or suicide.  And by suicide, I don’t only mean the kind of suicide where someone instantly takes their life.  I mean the kind of suicide of killing your life off, moment-by-moment.  Depression, anxiety, grief, regret, and other forms of mental anguish can torture the life right out of you.

But what about redemption?  What is that?

You know the question, Am I gonna make it?

Redemption is the answer yes, because of someone else.

We can taste both earthly and heavenly redemption in this life.  Earthly redemption is when a friend sends you a card, takes you out to dinner, or listens on the other end of the phone.  Earthly redemption is when a wise mental health professional listens to you talk, or prescribes a medicine to help you get through.  Earthly redemption is when a stranger offers to lend a hand when your car won’t start or pays for your meal when you’re looking especially down.  Earthly redemption is anytime someone keeps you from life suicide.  Another way to say this is, earthly redemption is anytime someone gets you out of the mortal place called “the shadow of death” (see Psalm 23 for how David dealt with this place).

Heavenly redemption is very similar but also unmistakably different.  Similar in that the sorts of things God does to redeem you forever often start exactly the same as earthly redemption.  He sends friends, family, medical professionals, and sometimes even strangers your way to encourage you and build you up.  He wants you to stay alive so that you can one day believe in Him and experience His eternal redemption.

And that’s where the difference lies: heavenly redemption lasts forever.  It’s rescue from the immortal place called “death”.  That’s the place where you live without God, and it’s a place God has no desire for you to be either now or for forever.

Am I gonna make it?   What if you don’t believe the answer can be yes?  Ask God for help!  A prayer to God doesn’t have to be eloquent for Him to understand what’s in your heart.

God, I need help.  I don’t think I’m gonna make it.  Jesus, please come into my “life” of death and save me from it.  I don’t want to walk in the Valley of the Shadow of Death anymore.  In Jesus, Amen.

If you pray to God like that, and you mean what you pray—even if you just have a mustard seed of faith about it—He will save you.  Even the smallest speck of belief while you’re in Death will cause God’s hand to plunge down from Heaven and pull you out to Life.

One thing to remember: the way God saves is both for now and eternal.  For all eternity, you are pulled out of Death when you believe in Jesus.  For right now, God may let you still walk in the Shadow of Death but with your Savior at your side.

Why not just pull you out right now?  The answer isn’t hard to understand.  Long ago and ever after, we chose to sin, and so we live in the world we chose.  God honors our choice.  But, when the Savior is walking by your side, He can use even the worst times in the Shadow of Death to bring about things you couldn’t imagine . . even little things that could change someone’s life . . like writing about the Am I gonna make it? feeling so that others might be saved by Jesus.

If you believe in Jesus, you’re guaranteed to have times of valley in this life, not guaranteed not to have them.  But you’re also guaranteed that Jesus will walk with you through them and that you won’t live in them forever.  Did you hear that word?  Live.  That’s the difference.  When you know Jesus you live in the Valley of the Shadow of Death; you’re not dying there!

And one more thing: God will continue to work through earthly redemption your whole life.  Don’t shirk from the help of others.  God often shows us His love by introducing people in our lives who can help us when we’re most weak.

Recommended resources: You’ll Get Through This by Max Lucado (book), Strong Enough by Tenth Avenue North (song)

Reach down from heaven and rescue me; rescue me from deep waters, from the power of my enemies. (Psalm 144:7, NLT)


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One Comment

  1. Good word.

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