There is no place we can flee from God's presence, though often we try.If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me fast Psalm 139: 9-10.
We who are built for fight or flight either lash out or run when faced with a foe. Perhaps the obvious enemy is easier to attack than the subtle interference of an unseen foe. The events of this past week confirm that we never know what is going on in the heart and mind of another. Many are battling unseen demons. Others have a target in the cross hairs and long to eliminate the unwelcome intruder of disease, death, accusation, and unfaithfulness among them.
At this writing tonight I join hearts with dear friends who are grieving the sudden death of loved ones and planning funerals, reeling from dreaded diagnoses and facing the decisions ahead with courage and grace, facing a literal trial with lifetime penalties hanging in the balance, struggling under the weight of depression, and living with weighty grief and loss in the approaching holiday season.
The demands of living through such stark rawness of life drive many into despair and hopelessness. "Makes you want to go and hide out 'til its over," one friend said. "The problem is, it's never over."
Whether we are intentionally hiding or just dwelling in the deepest pit feeling abandoned, we are not abandoned. We are held fast--securely--in the hand of God. Attributing hands to God who is spirit need not be a stumbling block, I pray. The expression occurs frequently in scripture and is merely an acknowledgment of God's power, authority and exalted position as we imperfectly describe the One who defies our human description.
There is a memorable song by Natalie Grant, "Held" which I love. The chorus reads:
This is what it means to be held
how it feels
when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive.
This is what it is to be loved
and to know
that the promise is when everything fell,
we'd be held.
This is what it means to be held...
We will have occasions to think of that often. Life doesn't grant a reprieve from pain and loss because we profess faith or belong to a particular house of worship. We know that the rain 'falls on the just and the unjust.'
But we can know the companionship of the One who will not leave us alone nor forsake us.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed 2 Corinthians 4:8,9.
(excerpt from a previous post)