God’s Firm Grip

Recently received this from David Martin. He gave me permission to use it.

Well, it finally happened.  Violette, our granddaughter, took her first steps.  They were halting and unsure, but still independent.  She was so proud of her little self.  Even though she has a few dozen independent steps under her diaper, she still needs our assistance almost 100% of the time to get around on her own two feet.

As I was making the umpteenth lap around the house yesterday holding her chubby little hands, I realized that the death-grip she had on my fingers was not at all necessary.  I had a firm grasp on her hands that would not allow her to fall.  But that did not lessen the need she felt to hang on tightly to my forefingers.

All too often that is how I treat God.  I think I must hang on to Him with all my might, grasping his hands as tightly as possible.  My ability to hang on to God with my strength is so insignificant as to be worthless.  It is His grasp on my hands that keeps me from falling.  

Isaiah 41:13  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." 

His children can rest in the fact that it is El Shaddi, God Almighty, who holds our hands to keep us safe and upright.  How thankful I am that I am in His hands.     



My Protector

I recently received this from my Sunday School teacher, David Martin and wanted to pass it along.
As I have shared with the class before, I am a world-class worrier. An anxiety expert. A virtuoso of vexation. While I have gotten better in this area over the years, it is still an on-going battle. So you can only imagine where my mind drifts during this pandemic. 

Last night I was engaged in another worry war. Coronavirus numbers grow. Quarantines abound. Even toilet paper is being hoarded, for crying out loud! These are target-rich times for all of us worry specialists. Wednesday night as I started to engage in a festival of foreboding, God led me to Psalm 35:1-3.

1 Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
    fight against those who fight against me!
2 Take hold of shield and buckler and rise for my help!
3 Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers!
Say to my soul, “I am your salvation!”  ESV

When David wrote these verses he was most likely being pursued by Saul who wished to put David to death. Now, I have never been stalked by a spear-yielding Israeli king, but unfettered worry is an enemy that can cause physical, emotional, and mental harm.

What spoke to me in these verses was the power and action and aggressiveness. David is asking the Lord to fight his fight for him. He was crying out to JEHOVAH TSABA* to go toe-to-toe with his enemies. Whoever messes with David, is going to have to deal his Father. My Dad is bigger than your dad. 

David is pleading with God to bring his holy weapons to the fight. "Take hold of shield and buckler**/Draw spear and javelin." Just imagine the God of the universe taking hold of shields, spears, and javelins all on our behalf against our enemies. As Mr. T used to say, "I pity the fool."

My most thoughtful, well-reasoned, and insightful worry-reducing ploys and tricks pale in comparison to what God can bring to the fight.

When I read the last two lines, I wanted to shout it out loud.  David  acknowledged that God is his salvation. Not the Israelite army. Not his warriors. Not man-made weapons. But God alone.  Even David, a man after God's own heart, needed God to speak that reassurance to him.

Look at how David punctuates the last line. It is not a mere period, but an exclamation mark. It is meant to be shouted.  Celebrated. Declared from the mountain tops. God is our salvation!

Will this completely obliterate worry from my life? Not likely.  I have spent many years honing the craft of consternation. But Psalm 35:1-3 will certainly be a powerful tool in my battle against worry.

*JEHOVAH TSABA:  The Lord our Warrior
**A buckler is a small shield.

My Provision and Protection

Because Jesus is my protector and provider I will always have all I need.

He provides me with food and shelter. When I am discouraged and frightened He calms and comforts me.

He shows me how to behave in ways that honor Him.

Even in the scariest of times I am not afraid of Satan because Jesus has the power to keep me safe.

He provides times of celebration for me and my family. I can’t even count all the ways He blesses me.

I know such love will continue throughout all my life and I will be with Him in heaven forever.

**********

In Luke 6:31 Jesus gave us the guiding standard for living a life that pleases Him. If we expand the principle He expressed we will smile at others the way we would like to be smiled at, listen to others the way we would like to be listened to, share with others the way we would like others to share with us, talk to others the way we would like others to talk to us, visit with others the way we would like them to visit with us, encourage others the way we would like them to encourage us, and love others the way we would like for them to love us.

GOD’S SUCCESSFUL WILL

Up town, down town
In the burbs, all around
God is working his will.

If we're here, if we're there
He protects us everywhere.
God is working his will

In the night, in the day
If we work, if we play
God is working his will.

When we're glad, when we're sad
Feeling good, feeling bad
God is working his will.

Feeling small, standing tall
Doesn't matter, hear his call.
God is working his will

He loves me, He loves you.
He is with us all life through.
God is working his will.


In Peru there are huge figures carved into the desert floor. Placed there by ancient peoples, they can be discerned only from above. From any place on the ground next to them only a small part is visible.

Our spiritual lives are similar. From our "here-and-now only" viewpoint we can understand only a small part of what God has planned for each of us. When we reach heaven and look back on the entirety of our lives on earth God's plan of blessing and discipline will be clear. 

And we will have all eternity to say "Thank you."