Life is, well, let’s just say interesting.
There is never a dull moment and there are always questions. Because a series of unrelated events, most of my friends are going through a tough time…myself included. Sometimes situations like these can make you ask some deep questions. Why are we all hurting? Why are we all struggling with deep theological issues? Why do we have so many unanswered questions? Why does it seem like it continues to get worse before it gets better? Where is God in all of this?
I found myself becoming a little weary and frustrated with the confusions of life. Thankfully I have a husband and friends who made it possible for me to spend a little extra time in the Word. As I was studying I was reminded of a promise that is woven throughout the Bible that always stands true, especially during the tough times.
Hebrews 13:5b “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”
I am confident that no matter what life throws at me, God is able and willing to help me get through it successfully. But for me the deeper question this week is how can I do this with joy? How do I not let the struggles of today steal the joy that is promised to me?
I love how the Psalms can give you insight into God’s character. As I was reading through some different ones today my heart was lightened, and I felt a sense of joy returning to my soul.
One Psalm especially spoke to me:
Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge.
I said to The Lord, “You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you.”
The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them!
Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods. I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood or even speak the names of their gods.
Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.
The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!
I will bless The Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.
I know The Lord is always with me, I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
As I am constantly telling my two year old, your attitude is a choice that you make. You choose to do things your own way or you choose to willingly obey. You choose to make it fun or you choose to pout in the corner. You choose whether to act out in anger or to act in love. It is a choice, and you are fully capable of making a good one.
There are things we can do to help us make a wise decision and to help us be joyful. We can be thankful and bless the Lord, no matter what. When we focus on the things that are good in our lives and the things that God has provided for us we are encouraged. We are reminded of His very presence in our everyday life.
Psalm 37:23-24 states “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.”
What a beautiful picture of our loving Lord. He holds our hands as we walk through the paths of life. Just like we help our babies take their first step. We hold tightly to their little hands as they step out into new territory. We do everything in our power to not let them stumble and skin their knees. They in return do not want to let go of our hand. Eventually as our children grow older, they begin to gain some confidence. We are able to go on longer walks and explore more territory. One day you may be able to go on a walk to the park. As you get closer and closer to the park, your child’s eyes begin to light up and you can tell by how they walk they are getting more and more excited about what is to come. They may even begin to pick up speed. Some might even forget why they are holding on to your hand and loosen their grip. Your son might even begin to fight you and want you to release him so he can get to his desired location faster. Sometimes they might break free and make a beeline for the swing, not even realizing there is a busy street to cross to get to paradise. They are single-minded, focused and determined. Your child forgets that your hand will help them safely cross the busy street and get them to the destination healthy and in one piece.
Other kids might gain their confidence slower. Even long after they can walk on their own, they like the security of your grasp. They are afraid to venture out and try something new. Even with the promise of fun, they are reluctant to loosen their grip.
Throughout childhood you still desire to hold your parents hand. Sometimes you need your parent’s hands to comfort you when you are scared or anxious. Other times you need a quick squeeze just to remind you that you are loved. Out of habit your child might reach for your hand without thinking. Then there will be the day when they are too embarrassed to hold your hand.
As you start dating and get married, you hold hands because you enjoy the other person. You want to show them that you care about them, you delight in them, that you would do anything for them. You love just being with them.
God wants to hold our hands through life just like we want to hold our child, parent or spouse’s hand. He wants to hold it tightly when you are starting off in your walk. He wants to hold you up as you learn to get your feet stable beneath you. He wants to hold your hand as you venture out and try new things. He wants to hold your hand and keep you safe as you pass through a dangerous intersection to make sure you make it through and enjoy the benefits of your adventure. He wants to just sit and enjoy your presence. He wants you to know that you are desired and deeply loved.
However, to make this work as it should we cannot fight His grip. We have to allow Him to gently lead. We cannot be too embarrassed or proud to be in His presence. I think it is so important to remember that God wants to hold your hand in the hard times and just as much in the good times. He delights in every part of your life. Allow Him to be a part of it!
Join me this week in taking time to enjoy the presence of God, and hold His hand.
Isaiah 41:13 For I hold you by your right hand- I, The Lord your God. And I say to you, Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.
Psalm 139:9-10 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.