He will take us by the hand
Giving your imagination freedom to roam, do you tend to picture your future in terms of months, seasons, years, decades?
This week I faced a new reality of time. It started with fear but ended with a refreshed look at an old habit -- holding hands.
A friend invited me over for a visit. I walked across her front yard, appreciating every step in the luscious green grass. I bypassed my normal practice of knocking on her door, and instead confidently walked through the gate to the back patio taking a seat at the round table with the warm sun shining on my back.
We laughed at my assumption of welcome and hugged each other. We felt safe hugging without masks for the first time in over a year.
I felt safe for another reason. This patio has come to feel like a sacred place. My friend and I have met Jesus here together through our laughter, our tears, our words of unguarded honesty, and our prayers.
This particular day our thoughts of the future were more sobering than exciting, as we each shared some possible health issues. We shared in terms of years not decades, facing the reality that given our age and the average life span of women in America, that is a reality.
We prayed before I left because that is my friend’s way of saying “goodbye.” As though after unwrapping our hearts, they needed to be placed in a box with a beautiful bow, rather than left to blow away in the breeze.
Everything about our patio visit was a gift for me. After this conversation, like most, I walked away with more to consider; she’s that kind of a challenging friend.
Of course, the reality is that any day may be my last. I know death can be that sudden and that surprising.
Should my dreams become smaller or larger with a possible shortened deadline ahead, I wondered.
Later I texted my friend a verse I had been meditating on: “The Lord lifts up those who are weighed down.” (Ps. 146:8)
She texted back:
“We are at a unique time of life, but I believe that smaller ministry is not less important ministry in His eyes! He just asks for our hearts.”
I’ve been blessed to walk through life holding hands with someone. As a child it was often my Dad, later my husband and son and now sometimes my grandchildren.
I love holding hands which makes this paraphrase of Isaiah 41:13 so meaningful to me:
“He will take us by the hand as our guide, to lead us in our way, will help us up when we are fallen or prevent our falls; when we are weak he will hold us up -- wavering, he will fix us, trembling, he will encourage us -- and so hold us by the right hand.”
As I glance at the possibilities of my final years of life, I like the picture of holding Jesus’ hand. In fact, that makes all the difference.
How do you picture your future today? Can you imagine holding Jesus’ hand as you walk through it?
I pray thoughts of your future bring you comfort as well as hope.
And thanks for sitting still with me today.