Being Held — grateful, yet grieving

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This past week I took a walk around a lake near my home. The music I was listening to put me in my own world. However, a quick glance to my left and I stepped on an emotional landmine. There was a couple around my age walking and holding hands. 

I did more than notice. It started with some jealousy and then some whining that led to a full recognition that I would never have the experience holding hands again with my husband or any other man. It not only smacked the reality of the loss of my husband, but the loss of my identity as being a part of a couple.

As I continued to walk, the music I was listening to interrupted my pity party. The song playing reminded me I was not alone. The lyrics spoke of how the Lord is my shepherd and goes before me. It wasn’t immediately, but slowly I recalled what I knew to be true as I walked. I am not alone. I have a verse underlined in my Bible, Psalm 73:23, says, “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” 

Somehow this verse gave me evidence that I am holding hands with my Heavenly Father. He’s holding my hand, assuring me, sustaining me, comforting me, upholding me, and demonstrating His unfailing love for me. The promise of God’s daily abiding presence is a reality as I come to the Lord each morning to soak up and let my mind saturate in His word.

Author Dane Ortlund, in his book, “Gentle and Lowly” tells the story of his two-year-old son as he enters a pool: “He holds on tight as the water gradually gets deeper. But a two-year-old’s grip is not very strong. Before long it is not he holding on to me but me holding on to him. Left to his own strength he will certainly slip out of my hand. But if I have determined that he will not fall out of my grasp, he is secure. He can’t get away from me if he tried. So with Christ. We cling to him to be sure. But our grip is that of a two-year-old amid the stormy waves of life. His sure grasp never falters. Psalm 63:8 expresses the doable sided truth: “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”

Truly we are held tightly in the ever-present, never failing, always powerful, gentle hand of our faithful Heavenly Father. 

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