God’s Ever-Present Outstretched Hand
I watched as my little girl peered overtop the foam pit at the gymnastics party she was invited to attend. Standing on a large platform, she stopped, leaned forward, tippy toes giving her the best view possible at the ravine before her and she took a step back. She had been watching the little ones before her leap away one after the other. But there was a difference for them…they had been offered one of the coach’s hands before leaping into the air, giggling nervously, yet confident that the coach would not let them fall to danger.
There was no coach standing there for my little girl. The coach was attending to the needs of another child. My little girl backed away, despite the cheers, “You can do it! Go ahead!” She stopped, looked behind her at the line forming of other little ones chomping at the bit to take their flying leaps…and started ringing her little hands in fear.
Noting my daughter’s hesitancy, another coach stepped up and offered her hand. My sweet little girl, fear gripping her one second before, instantly leapt without a care…just like that. My friend leaned over to me and exclaimed, “Wow, isn’t it amazing the difference that outstretched hand made?”
Isn’t that the truth in life? We often hesitate to take those life leaps without the assurance of an outstretched hand to catch us in the event we fail. We let fear overtake us and keep us from stepping into the unknown. Fear cripples, threatens, paralyzes, even blinds us – preventing us from walking through the thresholds of those open doors God places in our paths. We actually should take pause if we are not reaching for the One Hand that is worth waiting for, worth trusting and worth holding onto with all of our might.
We grasp at all sorts of hands – money, prestige, relationships, recognition, justice, books, speakers, commentaries, news articles… we reach, grasp, beg even…for a life line. All the while, God is right there, right beside us, before us and behind us, hemming us in on all sides. His hand is always there for the holding. Unlike the coach tending to another child, God never ever leaves us stranded. He never leaves us in a place where we have to look elsewhere for our security and confidence. That kind of leap into the hands of the world…it’s always a human driven choice.
God offers the kind of security that is unwavering, unshifting and always right and just. God invites us to take leaps, often into the unknown, which can certainly incite worry, anxiety and fear if we do not keep our eyes focused on His steady ever-present hand. God has promised never to leave us, to trust Him wholeheartedly, while holding on tightly and courageously to his always outstretched hand. Won’t you take His hand today? I assure you it is there.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)