Whenever we walk anywhere together, I reach my hand down and Kemper (my three year old) automatically finds it and grabs hold. We don’t look at each other. I don’t have to say, “Kemper, here’s my hand.” I reach down, he reaches up, and our hands connect. I love that feeling when his little hand fits perfectly into mine and love passes between us. I feel safer with Kemper’s hand in mine knowing that as long as I have his little fingers, he can’t go running into the street or dodging cars in the parking lot. Sometimes he gets a little stubborn streak and decides that he doesn’t need his momma’s hand. I then reach further and secure those little fingers in my own. Love, comfort, and security can be found in our grip.
I think God is looking for the same thing in our relationship with him. In Isaiah 41:13, we read, “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.” That’s essentially the same thing I am saying to Kemper as I reach for his hand. I’m here for you; I want to help you and protect you – take my hand. In the same way, God is reaching his hand down, just waiting for us to grab hold and feel the love pulse through. Sometimes we get stubborn and resist – thinking we can handle things on our own. Sin and disobedience creep into our lives as it did with the Israelites. The first half of the book of Isaiah is spent chastising Israel for their disobedience and describing the punishment that their sin deserved. However, the book of Isaiah does not end at chapter 39 with this message of the consequences of sin. No, it continues in chapters 40 through 66 where the Lord assures the people that his love will not be revoked as a result of their disobedience. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The second half of Isaiah offers comfort, love, and encouragement to the Israelites and us, proving that even when we stray, we are not outside of God’s reach. When we disobey and sin fills our lives, God reaches a little farther, squeezes a little tighter, and loves a little more. When our hand slips into his, we can take comfort in his word reminding us that with our hand in his there is no need to fear, but instead to rely on the Lord for help no matter how difficult the situation.
Thank you, Lord, for the constant presence of your hand reaching out for mine. Father, forgive me for the times when I’ve resisted your grasp or even rejected your outstretched hand. I pray that you help me to reach up and take hold. Help me to trust you completely and feel comfort with my hand resting in yours.