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Hangin’ by a Thread?

Marti Wibbels, MS, LMHC


In my home state of Wisconsin, October is a time of crisp fall days, crunchy apples, and vibrantly colored leaves. In Florida, fall is a time to enjoy sunshine and anticipate Christmas. For many, like me, it’s not too early for Christmas carols.

During a New York City Christmas season years ago, carols wafted through the air when my friend Suzan and I made an “essential” stop in a busy department store restroom. The line loomed long, and weary shoppers were strangely quiet—that is, until a homeless woman shattered the silence. Blustering into the crush of humanity, she loudly (urgently) announced, “It’s hangin’ by a thread; it’s hangin’ by a thread!” As one, the line stepped aside for her to blithely rush ahead of us all. (We were afraid to imagine what was hanging by a thread.)

During the current onslaught of pandemic and political news, do you feel like you’re barely hanging on? Are you stressed out? In Jesus, we can experience stability, hope, and authentic joy. Instead of being driven by distressing news, we can be at rest, realizing God promises to provide everything we need to not merely survive but thrive amidst changes and challenges.

Jesus understands our struggles and concerns. He asks, Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:28-29, The Message).

I can almost hear someone saying, “Wait a minute! I’ve had a lot of ‘heavy’ things happen lately. Our country is in chaos; I’ve lost friends and loved ones in the pandemic.” For these and other hard things, Jesus says, My strength is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12: 9, ESV). He doesn’t ask us to do what only He can do. He provides His strength in our weakness, His hope when we’re weary, and joy for each new day.

Instead of “hanging by a thread,” we can allow God to uphold us in His love. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:17, NASU).

I’d appreciate your feedback. Please email me at with ideas for future blog articles—or your thoughts about this or past articles. Thank you!!


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