Devotion By Rick Shafer
Home Alone #8 – What Are You Holding On To?
What Are You Holding On To?
When our boys, and now our grandsons, were quite young and we would be walking with them, especially in winter time, I would want to hold their hand so they wouldn’t slip and fall. There were times they, instead, wanted to hold onto my hand. I let them do so, but in such a way that I, without them realizing it, was also holding onto their hand.
Invariably, there would be a time that they would slip, and would have fallen, if it was just them holding onto my hand. It was my grip on their hand that saved them from the fall. Our Heavenly Father wants to hold us as we walk along in life. How often we, too, want to hold onto God by our own strength, thinking that is enough, but not realizing that it His strength that holds us in the difficult times. He has given us Jesus. His suffering and death, in our place, makes us right with God, not by any of our merit. He has given us the Holy Spirit who gives us and keeps us in our faith in Jesus. He holds us up in easy and difficult times.
I’m reminded of the story of the “Footprints in the Sand”, where there are two footprints walking side by side. During the trying times of life, there is only one set of prints. The question is posed as to where Jesus was during the strenuous times; why did He leave to make you walk alone.
The response is that He didn’t leave, but, rather, that He carried you during these demanding times. The hard times of life are intended to make us better, not bitter.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
The good man does not escape all troubles—he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one. – Psalm 34:19 (TLB)
Refuse to believe that life is based on blind fate or random chance. Everything that happens, including the things you cannot explain or justify, is being woven together like an enormous, beautiful piece of tapestry. From our viewpoint it seems blurred and knotted, strange and twisted. But from heaven’s perspective it forms an incredible
picture. Best of all, it is for His greater glory. Right now, it seems so confusing, but someday the details will come together and make good sense. There it is—part of God’s perfect plan unfolding. You can’t explain it. You couldn’t piece it all together if you tried. You aren’t able to understand it, and there will be times you won’t like it. But, God’s not going to ask your permission. And so? We trust Him anyway.
“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” – Job 1:21 (ESV)
Job suffered extreme loss, a loss of an almost unbearable kind. But what remained intact was his faith. Wouldn’t it be great if we could be in Job’s position at the end of the book without going through what he did throughout the book? How good would it be to gain his knowledge without all the suffering? Stay realistic and realize that cannot happen. Realize, it takes fire to refine gold. Remember that suffering will, sooner or later, touch us all. Jesus knew this when He told His disciples that though they will experience sorrow, it will turn into joy. Though their world may turn upside down (and how it would, since Jesus was preparing to suffer and die for all people), they can still trust in God. He told them,
I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world – John 16:33 (ESV)
Trust In God
When sorrow comes, remember that God heals with time– if we only let Him. When difficulties arise, plans for the future may get radically changed. (Sound familiar?) New plans are laid; new directions are taken. God would have it that way.
For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come – Hebrews 13:14 (ESV)
Hold on to God and His truth.
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