Thursday, November 27, 2014

Held by God - Martin Wiles

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you…I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NLT

For three long months, they paced the floor and listened as I screamed for relief. 

When a baby cries for more than three hours in a day, for more than three days in a week, and for more than three weeks, they are usually diagnosed with infantile colic. The cause is generally unknown, and only a small percentage of infants who endure it have an organic disease causing it. More disturbing is what colic can lead to: postpartum depression, child abuse, stress, and breastfeeding failure. According to Mom, I was a victim for three months—at which time it ceased as suddenly as it had appeared. Fortunately, I didn’t have to endure this terror with my own children. 

Of all the things that prompt me to need God’s comfort, a colicky child seems quite tame; I often long for his assistance because the fish I have to fry are larger (Translation: I have bigger issues to deal with.). I take comfort in trying times by realizing God inhabits my hurts. Regardless of others’ actions, he never leaves me alone. Whether the trial is initiated or allowed by him is immaterial. His presence is all that matters. Step by step, hand in hand, he leads me over rocky crags, along narrow paths, and through lonesome valleys as he did Much-Afraid in Hannah Hurnard’s Hinds’ Feet on High Places. 

As my father did, God holds me tightly when I’m overwhelmed by life’s testings. Why a tight grip calms a colicky child, I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s simply the comfort of knowing someone has your situation under control—and God does. Nothing in my life careens out of control when God’s monitoring the circumstances.  Many a parent assures their small child—who can’t understand what they’re saying, with the words, “It’s gonna be alright. Daddy (or Momma) has you.” I assure myself with the same: “God’s got this. Everything will be okay.” And it will. 

Are you allowing God to hold you securely when the times are tough?

Prayer: God of all compassion, may we feel Your arms of comfort surround us when we are overcome by pain, disappointment, and grief. 

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