Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Mid-Week Message - Holding Hands

"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."  Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)

This has been an incredibly difficult year for my family.  With my husband's illness and all we have gone through, I have found myself often sitting before the Lord in wordless fear wondering how in the world everything is going to work out.  I know God has a plan for our lives and I do trust that He will hold us close and not drop us, but as I look at the stark realities of our lives right now fear sets in.  I often wish I could just crawl up in the Lord's holy lap and be rocked by Him until my heart settles.  

Do you ever find yourself in the same situation?  I guess everyone does at one time or another.  And we know we can trust Him.  We know that scripture assures us of His unfailing love and that He has plans to prosper us, not to harm us.  Yet, when we see the steady drop in the bank account, struggle in our relationships, see more and more needs arise without the resources to take care of them or face illnesses or needs with our children or loved ones, sometimes we just drop to our knees and feel defeated.  

When my daughter was little and would be afraid I could gather her up in my arms and console her.  As she got older, she would just want to hold my hand.  I do the same with my beloved.  When he or I am fearful we hold each other's hands and that brings comfort.  That grasping of hands is reassuring.  It says, "You are not alone.  You don't have to face this by yourself." That is why I love today's scripture choice.  For the Lord to say He will take hold of our hands is very personal.  It is the one-to- one attention that we need.  It is how He reminds us that we are not on the journey of life alone.  He is right beside us, walking with us, and ready to grab onto us at any time to help us through.  

I want to tell you about someone very precious to me.  Her name was Billye.  She lived in the retirement community where we had our ministry in Cedar Park, Texas.  What a delight she was!  She was always smiling.  She had a huge heart that she was willing to share with anyone.  She encouraged me to be ordained because of the ministry and the need within the community.  After I was ordained, I became certified in hospice care.  And she was so proud.  Neither she nor I had any idea that she would be the first patient I worked with.  It was soon after that that she was diagnosed with brain cancer and her life began quickly coming to an end.  As she was laying in her bed, not long before she passed, she asked me one day to sing "Jesus Loves Me" with her.  I did.  Then I just sat beside her and she asked me a lot of questions and just wanted to hold my hand.  I have a picture of our hands grasping each other.  Any time I visited her, even when she could no longer talk, we just held hands.  It was her way of getting reassurance, and my way of conveying my love for her and letting her know she was not alone.  She has been gone a few years now but I still have the picture and can still remember the feeling of her precious hand in mine. 

The Lord loved us enough to send His Son Jesus for us.  That love didn't end with that act.  He is still intimately involved in our lives each day.  He sees our tears, hears our prayers and wants for us to reach for His hand.  How beautiful that He has given us this scripture to remind us how close He truly is.  I hope during this week, we all reach out for the hand of the Almighty.  I can't think of anything more wonderful.  God bless you! 

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