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)
I was blessed to grow up with four grandparents all living within an hour’s drive of my home. I spent many happy days with the ones who lived on the beach, and the others who lived in town. Their houses still stand and sometimes, I drive past just to remember. One of my earliest memories is holding my mother’s father’s hand as we walked across a large sandy field to see the water. When I was two, we lived in a brand new subdivision on an island made of dredged fill. There were still not a lot of houses on the “key” so there were wide expanses of sand that came from the bottom of the bay. Between our house and the bay was a space about the size of a football field of undeveloped land. I remember the hot sand between my toes, the sandspurs that pricked at my feet and thinking we would never get to the water. Finally, my grandfather reached down to pick me up and carry me. We would reach the seawall where we stood for a long time looking for fish or dolphins or sea birds. My mother says that every time he came to visit, I would hardly let him get out of the car before demanding that he take me to the water. My grandfather continued to play an important role in my life until my mid teens when he died quite suddenly of a heart attack. I cannot hear Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton sing “When I Get Where I’m Going,” without thinking of my grandfather and how someday, I will walk beside him and hold his hand again. We’ll go looking for water and leaping dolphins. I thought of these verses when a friend told me that her dad has been ill and some decisions need to be made about his future. Her mom has decided to leave everything in God’s Hands. On the surface, that sounds comforting, but as a daughter, my friend is unsure. It sounds so passive to just sit back and wait for God to work in her father’s life. Shouldn’t there be something that needs to be done? Questions to ask the doctor? Preparations to be made? Yet, she sees evidences that her mother understands the true meaning of trusting God. Understanding that God is in control appears to have given her mom the courage to ask the right questions, seek wise counsel and plan for the future. Knowing that God is in control frees us from the paralysis of indecision. Knowing that He holds our hand gives us the confidence to move forward. When I walked with my grandfather, the sand was hot and burned my feet. The sandspurs stuck and stabbed. I could walk the distance towards my goal because I knew that when the path got hard, my grandfather would pick me up and carry me the rest of the way. Don’t be afraid. Give Him your hand and ask for help.