Words From The Heart: Special Weekly Reflection #34

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For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)

Many of the people that we take to Israel tell us that one of the most memorable parts of the trip is the Tel Dan Nature Reserve. During our visit there, we hike along the pretty Dan Stream, the most important source of the Jordan River. The gushing water is crystal clear and cool. The rocky hiking path is right beside the stream, and I usually hang back to make sure that everyone can navigate the most challenging part of the trail.

It is always encouraging to watch people take the hand of others to help them maneuver over the rocks. The hike often helps unify the tour group as they help each other along the slippery path. There is something about holding hands that brings a sense of stability in our lives. It is even more encouraging when we are holding hands with someone we love and who loves us.

God doesn’t have hands, of course. He is Spirit. But he speaks about holding our hand in Isaiah 41:13: “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

Life can be filled with all sorts of challenging paths and rocky times. This has certainly been the case over the past eight months of COVID-19. Now that the predicted second wave has hit, many are having an even more difficult time maneuvering through life.

The God of the Bible is not removed from us. In just a few days we are going to start the Advent season and we will be reminded again that Jesus is Immanuel – God with us. God the Father may not have a physical body, but His Son the Lord Jesus took on human form and stepped into our world – fully human. Over time His first followers realized that God was with them – and it was overwhelming.

I love the story of Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14. He was doing well until he took his eyes off Jesus and onto the storm. As Peter began to sink, Matthew 14:31 says this: “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.”

What a beautiful fulfillment of Isaiah’s promise. The Lord Jesus, God with skin on, reached his very human hand to take hold of Peter, and save him from sinking. Even when Peter took his eyes off Jesus, Jesus was there to reach out.

When life gets overwhelming, when we take our eyes off the Lord and, in staring at the storm, we feel like we are sinking, Jesus reaches out and takes us by the hand. He is still with us today. We hear him speak the words he said in Isaiah – “Do not fear; I will help you.”

God is holding your hand right now. In the middle of the storm you are in, in the middle of the pandemic. Don’t fear. Jesus has you!

I’m Bob Beasley, and these have been words from the heart.