Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
When I was 24 years old, I had three children under the age of 5. I was living in Montana miles and miles removed from my family in Texas. My husband, their father, was seldom home and not very helpful when he was home. I felt alone; I was alone. I had this recurring dream. In this dream, I was trying to cross a swinging bridge with my three daughters. The bridge was high above rapidly moving water, water that would sweep us away in minutes should we fall, and the bridge swayed and seemed very unstable. I was trying desperately to figure out how I was supposed to get three kids across to safety when I only had two arms. I would wake shaking and terrified and overwhelmed. It wouldn’t take a dream specialist to interpret that dream. In my waking hours, I was alone, I was overwhelmed and I was terrified. And more than once, I would question, how on earth, am I going to take care of these three kids by myself?
It would be years before I would know the comfort of this verse. Years before I came to know that I wasn’t alone and didn’t need to be terrified. I don’t know how He does it, but God has a hand available for all His children to keep them from being swept away by life. I love this promise. I love the image it paints in my mind – a father, a loving father reaching out his hand to hold mine for as long as I need him to. I am much older than 24 now and I don’t have 3 young daughters to raise anymore, but still, at times, I find that life can be overwhelming but I know that when I feel alone I have only to reach out and the bridge doesn’t sway quite so much and the waters don’t seem so threatening. If I hang on to His hand, I can cross to safety.
Whatever the trial, whatever the bridge you or I need to cross, we are not alone. The God who promised His hand to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, promises His hand to you and to me. We don’t need to fear or look anxiously look about. We only need to extend our hand to hand God has offered us.
Once again, I come to You, hand extended. Would you stabilized me again? Thank You for being my God, my Father, my Protector, my Comforter, my Peace, my Help. Thank You for always being there, for always reaching out to me, for always strengthening me. When fear tries to tell me otherwise, would You please remind me of this verse and Your love? Thank You for being all these things and more to my precious three daughters, help them to come to know that they are not alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
picture credit: bkdunn.com