The Blessings of Being Held in God’s Firm Grip
What started out as a day filled with sunshine, quickly became filled with clouds in my soul. I’m in the middle of a major R.A. flare – my joints don’t want to work, fatigue is my companion, and brain fog comes and goes. Along with that comes the emotional ups and downs of what I can and can’t do, no matter how much I want to do it.
The sunshine of this morning filled me with hope that I would be able to stay focused and get a lot of things. After breakfast I could feel things starting to close in making my heart grow heavy. I needed time with God.
While getting ready, I knew I needed to put on my compression gloves for my swelling hands. I couldn’t get them on. Rich had to help me pull on gloves! That’s how stiff and painful my hands were. As he was pulling them on, we were trying to encourage each other by laughing, but then my tears suddenly came pouring out at the frustration of where my life is right now. In that moment, God spoke to me through Rich’s reminder, “the gloves are like God’s hands holding you fast, tight, sure. God’s love will not let you go.” We cried, prayed, and encouraged each other.
I was reminded of the opening words to, “O love that will not let me go – I rest my weary soul on Thee.” So, for the next hour, I just let my soul rest in God. Turned on some music and read. Guess what – it really shouldn’t be a surprise – God has been right there ministering to me:
1) I looked for encouragement on being held in God’s grip and was led to an Our Daily Bread devotional on Psalm 131. It is a Psalm of Ascents (what the Israelites sang when they went to worship in the house of God). Look at the title of it from the English Standard Version:
I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles
David found the peaceful contentment like a baby whose is belly filled and fell asleep in its mother’s arms – calmed, quieted, peaceful, at rest. It’s like God saying, “Be still My child. My ways aren’t your ways, your thoughts aren’t my thoughts. Just trust Me! Rest in Me! I have you firmly held in My love.”
2) The worship channel I picked played: It Is Well with My Soul, Be Still My Soul, and I Need Thee Every Hour as the first few songs.
Seeing God minister to me through my pain, as I spend intentional time with Him helped my wounded soul to fill. While I typed up my thoughts with my compression gloves on, I am reminded that with each keystroke God’s hand is holding my hands, my heart, AND my soul firmly in His grip.
Compression gloves aren’t fun getting on, but once they are on, they can almost become invisible, just there giving support and easing the ache of swollen, painful joints. So, I wonder once again,
• Why do I try to do things in this world on my own?
• Why did it have to come to a heavy heart/soul this morning to take the intentional time to be with God?
• Why am I so like that desperately hungry infant craving the nourishment of spiritual milk before I am filled and left with a calm, quiet spirit?
I’m not certain why, but I know I am not alone. If King David felt this way, wrote about it, the Israelites used it as a song before they worshiped in the tabernacle, how do I think I can get by life without those longings?
Hoping you find time to just Be Still with God today and realize you are held firmly in His grip always! Faye