My soon to be 11-year-old is at that awkward age of thinking he’s too old for some things that I believe he secretly still likes. Take holding my hand for example. When we are walking, whether in the parking lot, in a store, down the street, he shakes away my hand if I try to hold his. However, often as he’s walking next to me, he’ll reach up and take hold of my hand, only to later seem to realize what he did and abruptly let go. How a mother’s heart hurts when a child shakes away her grasp.
As I sat down to type today’s post, I was going to write about something in Galatians, but wasn’t exactly sure how to say what I wanted to say. But then I looked down at my mousepad that I had made for free last year when I was ordering other things for my MOPS group from Vista Print. The MOPS verse at the time was “Even there, Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:10) So, I had a mousepad made with the verse on it and pictures of my boys to remind myself that “Even there” in the midst of my mothering, God was guiding me. Anyway, as I looked at it, I thought about my oldest shaking my hand away and here we are…
When I think of that verse and God holding my hand, I think of the various reasons that I hold my boys’ hands. 1. I hold them out of affection. 2. I hold them to direct where they are walking. 3. I hold them to keep them with me so they don’t get lost. 4. I hold them to keep them going too fast, or too slow. 5. I hold them to keep them safe – so that a car doesn’t hit them or so that no one steals them away.
So, when I read in that verse that God’s holding my hand, I’m pretty sure He’s doing it for the same reasons. 1. He loves me. When you read through the Bible, you find to be at God’s right hand, is to be at a place of honor. 2. He wants to guide me. So often I’m not sure how to handle situations, or what choice to make, but if I cling to God’s hand through prayer and reading the Bible, I can feel his guiding me more and more. 3. He desires that I stay with Him and not wander away or get “lost”. 4. When I’m clinging to Him He keeps me from going too fast (worrying about tomorrow) or going too slow (not doing what He’s asking me to do). 5. He keeps me safe and protects me. Running off on my own can result in getting hit by all kinds of cars (consequences of my sins) or being “stolen away” by things in this world.
These all sound like great reasons to cling to God’s hand. But, like my son, I often find myself shaking it off, by ignoring reading the Bible, by not praying, by pressing on in my own wisdom and strength instead of His. Does God’s heart hurt when I do that like mine does when my son pulls away? But here’s the thing… when my son tries to pull away, I will often let him. If it’s a matter of safety or discipline, I do not… especially when they are young. But as they’ve gotten older, I don’t force them to hold my hand. But, whenever that almost 11-year-old hand reaches up to take mine, you better believe that my hand is there and I hold on and give it a little extra loving squeeze. And I know that whenever I reach up to cling to God’s hand it is there holding on to mine and giving it a little extra loving squeeze.