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Holding My Right Hand

March 1, 2013

Because I, your God,
have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic.
I’m right here to help you.’
-Isaiah 41:13, The Message

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’
-Isaiah 41:13, ESV

There was something that struck deep to my core last night as a friend read those words out loud about the God who, metaphorically, holds my right hand, stands next to me and says “I am the one who helps you.”  That the Message translates this, “Don’t panic” is amusingly all too true … that God knows, in our creaturely simplicity, that our first and default response is that fight-or-flight panic mentality.  The part of us that runs and hides when life gets rough.  And that He is a God who stands next to us and holds our hand and calmly tells us not to panic.

In the last few weeks, it was officially announced that my school (work) will be closed at the end of this year, and my car got broken into … in my driveway.  Plus the myriad other small daily burdens.  At times, I feel like I have to fight to keep trusting in the goodness and steadfast love of God.  And some days I just don’t have the energy.  Like tonight, when walking around my neighborhood, trying as best I could to offer up the events of the day to God in silent internal prayer, asking counsel, and seeking forgiveness, and wanting peace.

And I kept hearing that relentless refrain, with each passing thought:  Do you trust me?  Do you trust me?  Are you willing to trust me in this?

Honestly?  I’m really just kind of tired, Father.

Do you trust me?

I’m trying.  And I want to.

And that’s the best it gets some days.  I’m trying to trust.  And I want to trust.  And I believe, somewhere in the back of my mind even if I cannot affirm it with every ounce of my being in the moment, that God is for me and His will is perfect.  And He gently reminds me of the moments and days, strewn (and not coincidentally) throughout this past season, where life seemed remarkably sweet and peaceful and full of hope, like a taste of the goodness of God.

Yea, though I walk through the valleys.

I was talking with a dear friend from college recently, and she mentioned a letter she’d written to herself when she was younger, and what a surprise it was to go back and read it again.  She had something beautiful and insightful (as she usually does) to say about it:  “There is as much hope, and hard work, and love in my life now as I wanted there to be.”

Hope, and hard work, and love.  What a beautiful prayer for life.  And in mulling over that phrase in the past few days, and hearing hope, hard work, love, hope, hope, hope I keep thinking about how to hope is to live fully confident, fully trusting, in the goodness and faithfulness of God.

Do you trust me? 

I’m trying to.  Just keep holding my hand.

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