Monday, February 27, 2012
You hold my right hand...
As my 3-year-old grasps my finger in the middle of the night for assurance that I am still by her side, my mind wanders. I attempt to talk to God as the sounds of the girls’ coughs place every muscle in my body on edge. My mind works to compute the days it has been since their fevers started. And I try to assure myself of my mothering choices.
The hold my little one has on my hand is tight as to make certain I will not leave. She wants to have the security that her mother is there to take care of her. The comfort found in wrapping her tiny hand around my middle finger allows her to drift back to sleep.
I think about the fact that this is a comfort my 6-year-old daughter looks for as well. All it takes is that momentary touch to say, “I’m here. Everything is going to be okay. I love you and won’t leave you. Go ahead and allow yourself to experience that peace you are searching for. I am right here.”
In the midst of my thoughts, this picture comes to my mind of my middle child grasping her papa’s finger at the zoo. I love this picture because it reminds me of all the moments I slipped my own hand into his looking for the security I longed for as a girl. His hand was always welcoming as I ran to claim my spot. Walking with my hand held tightly by those of a strong carpenter allowed me to enjoy each moment knowing I was loved and cared for.
It was four years ago that I said goodbye to my earthly father. God intertwines a Bible verse in with these memories this week as I've cared for the runny noses, coughs, and fevers of my ill children (which will no longer be of concern to me next week). As my little girls search for security in reaching out their hands for mine, I attempt to recall God’s Words. I know there was something about being held by his right hand. "Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely." (Psalm 63:7-8)
Walking along this journey without my dad has been painful. Somewhere along the way, I had to make the choice to quit asking God “Why?” and start asking “Now what?” While I am grateful to have had a daddy’s hand to reach for when I needed comfort all the way up to the final days, I still miss him. And yet, his death has brought my life richness I never thought could be experienced in such loss.
As I've looked to God for peace in my pain, I've found that I should be comforted by His simple presence in my life. Just as my girls find security in simply reaching for my hand, God wants me to find that same assurance in Him. When I am hurting, I thank God that it is still the strong hands of a Carpenter that I find my peace and security... for eternity. And as I do, I hear Him say "For I hold you by your right hand— I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, 'Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you." (Isaiah 41:13)
"Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever. Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do." - Psalm 73:21-28