As a pastor, sometimes on Sunday mornings as I greeted folks for the first time at the beginning of the service, I would ask a rhetorical question: ‘How was your week?’ Of course, when you ask a question like that of a large gathering of people, you’re not expecting an answer. It’s a way of greeting and expressing a sort of ‘I’m-glad-you’re-here’ thought, as a service begins. But, I would often answer my own question with this statement:
“I know your week was at least survivable, because you’re here. Congratulations on making it through another 7 days!” While that may seem like a rather obvious truth, there is, I think something much more profound that I need to take notice of in my life. How about you?
It is the joy and assurance of being in the grip of God.
How many times, O God?
How many times in my journey have you touched me, with your kind hand?
How often have your reached for me, in my distress,
To comfort my weary bones,
Encourage my wearied soul?
Help me survive another week?
Unnoticed, I fear,
The times you have held me, fast. Times when, like the disciples of old who were riding out a storm at sea, I wondered about your sleeping in the back of the boat of my life. Like those disciples, I wondered if you noticed that I was perishing.
My guess is that such times have been all too frequent;
Such wonderings, all too common.
Perhaps daily; even moment by moment,
My ignorance of your firm grip had not served me well.
For, though I am often blind to the awesome and awe-filled truth, You have, since the very beginning of my journey with you, sustained me with your hand, You have held me in your firm grip.
Like some stumbling child,
I am held tightly every day,
and led by your kind and gentle hand.
Your word speaks louder than my paltry unbelief;
Your truth, eternal, unchangable,
Even when I do not notice;
Perhaps, especially when I am unaware:
I am continually held in your firm, steady grip.
Led beside quiet waters,
Sheltered in life’s blustery gails.
Walk with me, O God.
Remind me of your firm grip.
For, as you hold me fast,
Trust and confidence grows in me.
Trust to face another moment.
Confidence to face another day.
In all my moments with you at the helm of my life,
Never once have you failed me.
Never once has your sufficiency been … insufficient.
No. My journey with you has been filled with moments, seasons, days when I should have marveled at the firm grip of your hand.
But my frail and faultering faith blinded me to the sureity of your presence.
Forgive me, O God who grips my life. Help me walk today with the reality of your constant touch and shelter.
“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; Though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.” (Ps. 37:23,24)