God Has a Grip on You
Dear Blessed and Highly Favored,
Winter is definitely not my season of choice;
however, as long as I can remember, I always enjoyed watching competitive figure skating and skiing. The competitors, the athletes, made these sports seem so effortless and artful. I appreciate every moment of it, even the stumbles and the tumbles. I am amazed at how the skaters, in particular, can so gracefully get themselves back up again to complete their routine. In a split second, the athlete decides to pull herself together, with the hope of achieving a good finish. This we know is all about discipline. There was a period in my life when I envisioned myself as a graceful swan dancing on ice. There, I was in the spotlight for the world to see. This was once my fantasy; this was once my dream. Which leads me to the time when my older brother tried to teach me to skate.
My brothers always did a great job making a hockey rink in the backyard. This created great fun and recreation for those long days of winter. Little did I know, this very place would become a training ground for me. According to my brother, the first lesson in learning to skate was to simply stand and walk on the ice. My older brother was a very good teacher, somewhat impatient, but good. My brother cautioned me not to look at my feet if I wanted to maintain my balance. With great effort, I tried to follow his instructions. He also told me to keep my eyes focused and make baby steps in his direction. One thing for sure, I was petrified. I was virtually paralyzed with fear. My legs felt like jelly and my sweet dream of being a graceful swan dancing on ice quickly faded away. Throughout the lesson, my brother kept on reassuring me not be afraid. I looked up to my brother. I saw him as strong and I trusted his word. Well, I ended up falling several times, but my brother was right there, like he said, to help me get back up again. Each time I fell, knowing I could depend on my brother's firm grip, I got right back up again and again. Each time I got up with a little more confidence. To make a long story short, I achieved the goal of the first lesson. My brother would probably say otherwise, but this is not his story. I believe I was actually taking baby steps on ice.
The Psalmist said, “Stalwart walks in step with God; his path blazed by God, he’s happy. If he stumbles, he’s not down for long; God has a grip on his hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24 MSG)
According to the text, a stalwart is a person who is devoted, faithful or committed, one who is therefore in right relationship with God. I appreciate how Eugene Peterson, describes the stalwart’s path as one blazed by God. The presence, the awesome power of God, keeps us stepping and because of this, we are glad. Herein is one who has his eyes fixed on the one who walks with him. Herein is one who knows God is a very present Helper and Comforter as he journeys through life.
Unfortunately, there are days when we fight to get up, let alone stand up. Life is hard sometimes. Living for Christ in these last days is hard work and there are times when it seems like we are losing our grip. There are many days I feel like a petrified little girl, still learning to stand and to take a few steps without falling. Some days I am so fixed on life’s problems or feeling sorry for myself, that I forget God is there for me. In the midst of it all, the Holy Spirit keeps reassuring me that the Sovereign God is very present and is able to hold me up and to keep me. You see, even when I fall, He is still there to pick me back up again. He has His strong grip on me. Be encouraged my dear sisters, mighty is our God. There is no one like Him. God uses even the stumbles and the tumbles to remind us we are in His grip. He is always with us. I pray each time God picks you back up, you will feel His strength and become more aware of His presence in your life. I pray you feel His powerful grip holding you and protecting you from all harm and danger. You are not meant to walk alone. God desires to walk with you. Sisters, you are in His grip. My dearest sisters, I urge you to keep moving forward in the Lord. God is not finished with you. Keep stepping! Keep pressing forward! Keep growing stronger in the Lord!
The late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the widely acclaimed non-violent civil rights leader who protested both federal and state laws in United States regarding racial discrimination and social injustice, proclaimed, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
The Bible declares that, “the righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger”. (Job 17:9 NLT)
God has a grip on you, so keep stepping, keep moving forward. Beloved, you are blessed and highly favored.