In Gods Grip
Tuesday, May 1 2018
I remember those days so many years ago now, when our son Andrew was still a little boy.
If we were going to cross a street – or if we were standing somewhere high and steep – or if Andrew just needed to feel secure...
I would take his tiny little hand in mine, hold on tight, tell him to do the same – and we would sit or stand or cross safely, together.
But, even though our little guy would hang on to me for dear life sometimes, I would never depend on his grasp. It was always my grip on his hand that kept him safe and secure.
I remembered those times so long ago now just a little while ago, when I was once again reading Isaiah 41 – and when I tried to picture what verses 10 and 13 together might look like...
"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand …
For I am the LORD your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you,
‘Do not fear; I will help you.’”
The image above is what I saw...
And the thoughts below are what I reflected on...
I love these two verses from Isaiah 41 – and I love reading them together. Twice, God tells us not to fear, be the situation we find ourselves in as it may, simply because He is the LORD our God and He is with us. We are not alone in our difficulty – a God willing and able to assist is standing with us. Twice, He encourages us not to be afraid, because He promises to help us. And He assures us that He will strengthen us, and therefore we needn’t be dismayed.
But more than anything, I love these two verses because of the image they suggest:
“… I will uphold you with my righteous right hand …
For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand …”
Just imagine it: God’s right hand seizing and gripping your right hand – taking hold of and upholding you, always – preventing you from falling, supporting you, raising you up, keeping you strong against all opposition. God’s right hand is a righteous right hand, and He can therefore sustain you and defend you. God’s right hand grips your right hand and will never let you go. This image evokes a sensation of strength, security, trust, and rest – with God’s powerful and strong right hand gripping yours, you needn’t fear anyone or anything. “… The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1b)
My friend: the next time you find yourself in a difficult, fearful or lonely place, remember this image. Remember, believing and trusting, that God has not left you alone, that He will never leave you nor abandon you. Remember, with conviction, that God’s right hand has seized your right hand, and He will never let you go, ever. It will never be the strength of your grasp that will keep you – it will always be God's grip and hold on you that will keep you safe and secure. You can count on His faithful and righteous right hand to help and to strengthen you, always.
P.S. As I write and rewrite this reflection, I have just read the news that Avicii, the world-famous 28-year-old DJ and music-producer superstar from Sweden who was found dead in the country of Oman last week, “could not go on any longer” and “wanted to find peace” according to the latest statement released by his family. Struggling with a life of fame and excessive partying, poor health and extreme stress and anxiety was apparently just too much for him. I personally had never heard of him, nor heard his music - but his sudden and tragic death have saddened me. Did he ever reach out his right hand to take hold of God? Did he ever know God reaching down with His right hand to take ahold of him? Did he ever, even if only in the last few moments of his life here on earth, experience God’s presence and strength upholding him, taking away his fears, and giving him peace? I hope so… I really do hope so.
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