God is my help. {Psalm 54:4}

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I pull a notecard from the stack, white and smooth, and write “Sustainer” across the middle in loopy, early-morning script, my eyes still only half-open. Underneath I record this verse: “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me” (Ps. 54:4).

I’ve been starting each day by writing down a name of God and I especially like this one. Sustainer. It feels smooth and beautiful on my tongue. Yet as I think about this aspect of who God is to us, I sense a tender whisper in my heart, “Will you let Me be your Sustainer?”

The day before comes back to me—the intense meetings, impending deadlines, emails I’ve yet to answer. True confession: My stressed-out self went not to the cross but to the kitchen. And when my husband came home I asked if we could go on a date night. I thought this would sustain me too—a fun evening on a patio, a cupcake for dessert, Netflix when we got home. But when my head hit the pillow I still felt weary. And I woke up the same way.

Now, I want to pause and say there is nothing wrong with anything I chose. Food and time with those we love and relaxing are all gifts from God. He offers them to us freely and joyfully. I didn’t sense that God was saying, “You shouldn’t have done any of that.” Rather, He was telling me, “For what you needed those weren’t enough.”

I paused and wondered, “How might I have done things differently?” I think it would simply be this: I would invite Jesus into the kitchen with me. I would sit at the table and, yes, I still might have a treat but I would talk to Him while I did so. I would tell Him of my tiredness, hurt and fear. My frustration and exhaustion. I would let Him be the One to truly fill me.

I would still have gone on my date night but I would have given Jesus a seat at the table too. I would have shared more with my husband and asked him to pray for me. I would have gone home and watched Netflix in my pajamas but I’d have asked Jesus to wrap His love around me like the soft blanket on my couch. As I drifted off to sleep later I would have released all my cares to Him.

“Sustain” means “strengthen and support” and I’m learning, slowly, to lean on Jesus instead of flimsy earth things that can never hold my weight. These are not “bad,” it’s simply that we sometimes ask far more of them than they are able to give. A cupcake can’t heal my heart. Another episode can’t give me peace. They have their place; they can contribute. We need not feel guilty for enjoying them. But they are only nice supplements and not true sustenance.

This is the miracle: The God of the Universe, the Creator of cupcakes, the spinner of the earth and the maker of our hearts says He is our Sustainer. This can feel big and mysterious. But I think it simply comes down to inviting Him into our everyday moments, letting His shoulder be the One we lean on, asking His love to be our strength and support.

I sit on the edge of my bed and whisper, “Yes, Lord, be my Sustainer today.” It is a prayer He always answers, one all the stressed-out folks can say.


Holley Gerth

* If you liked this post you’ll love the devotional book What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days: 52 Truths You Can Hold On To.


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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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