Only Sometimes?


"I'm still in your presence, but you've taken my hand.  You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me." Psalm 73:21 MSG

“I’m still in your presence, but you’ve taken my hand. You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me.” Psalm 73:21 MSG

I wonder if you have ever found yourself in this place?  I ask Jesus to help me, to guide me and protect me.  I ask Him to hold my hand, especially in my times of need, the darkest times.  (I could ask myself why especially in these kinds of circumstances, but this thought will be examined another day.)  I cry out for His help, expecting rescue. However I find that sometimes I’m rescued and other times I feel like I’ve been left hung out to dry.  That I’ve been left alone being blown around by the whim of the wind. So what is this telling me?  Should I believe that Jesus only helps me sometimes?  Does this mean that He arbitrarily chooses who He will help and who He won’t?  Does He sit on His throne and say, yes today I will hold her hand but tomorrow I’m going to let her go it alone?

It is at times like these that I have to go into the Word of God and see what it says.  For I know that Truth is found here and that if I were to rely solely on my understanding then I would definitely be led astray.  So what does the Holy Word tell me about God holding my hand?  Psalm 37:2-24 (New Living Translation) tells me that the Lord directs the steps of the godly.  This means that God is the one who is guiding me. (However to be guided one needs to be willing to go where they are being directed to go.  Again, a thought to pursue another day.)

God delights in every detail of my life. Interesting, this tells me that God takes pleasure in every detail, not just some details but every detail of my life.  In order for Him to be delighted in something He would have to be there to experience it.  Therefore He is present.

Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.  So here I am told that God does indeed hold my hand.  However it also makes reference to stumbling, but never falling.  Think for a moment what it means to stumble. Sometimes when we stumble we get a little hurt but not to the point that we are incapacitated.  Have you ever been out walking while holding a child’s hand and they trip or stumble over something on the ground.  They begin to fall and perhaps scrape their knee a bit but you instinctively pull up and save them from a bigger mishap?  I think that this is what this verse is talking about.  We may scrape our knees or stub our toes in a stumble but we won’t take an out right fall because God has a hold of our hands and will stop us from taking the full impact of the fall.

OK this is all well and good, but there have been times when it has felt like I have taken a hard, devastating fall.  I could ask, did Jesus really hold my hand then?  Well, the Bible tells me that God will never let me fall and I have chosen to believe that His Word is Truth.  So that means that something else must have gone on.  I need to ask myself then, was I reaching out to Jesus in this time of need?  Really?  With my hand and arms fully outstretched and grasping tightly to His hand? Or was I holding out my hand but holding back just a bit because I didn’t quite trust that He could deal with the situation? Have you ever tried to hold someone’s hand who didn’t want it held?  It’s pretty difficult to keep a tight grip on that person.  I believe that Jesus will not force Himself on us.  He loves us too much for that.  What I needed to do in this situation was to fully reach out to Him.  I needed and need to hold nothing back from Him.

Mother Teresa said that, “What is important about holding on, [is] that you have to [have] a grip on Christ and He will not let go of your hand.”  I loved this quote.  It gave me the picture of someone holding Jesus with all the might they could muster.  They didn’t hold Jesus’ hand with a light clasp of the fingers or a flick of the wrist.  They had a strong grip on the hand of the One who intercedes for us before God the Father.

Several years ago I was sitting in a bible study and God brought to my mind an incident that I was very angry with God about.  I felt that He didn’t follow through on a promise that He gave me.  I heard God’s voice saying to me, “Lindy, remember when you thought I’d let you down…I never promised you that…you told me what you wanted me to do and then believed that it came from me.”  In our times of need I wonder how often we tell God what we want to happen instead of asking Him what He wants for us and holding out our hands for Him to hold?  How many times do we blame God for things, but the onus is ours due solely to the fact that we are not giving God every part of us, that we continue to hold something back?  God holds our hands but sometimes it is us who aren’t holding on tightly to Him.

Here’s to taking ownership on what is our’s to own.