Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Holding My Hand

She called two nights ago, our beautiful daughter who lives too far away.  She and I had our usual silly “answering the phone” routine, with our familiar teasing and laughter.  Then she said, “Wellll…..” and I knew something was coming.  Moms know these things.  “I saw the cardiologist today and so I thought I’d call and tell you…..”

Then I heard words like echocardiogram….stress test…..enzyme levels……blood work….   Possible this and possible that.  I was calm, because I just am that way, usually.  And because she wants me to be that way.  We’ve faced the unknown before with her, and here it is again, lurking like an unwanted intruder in the background.  Actually, red flags were raised after her double pneumonia last July when symptoms and tests weren’t adding up just right.  Doctor visits, multiple tests, many vials of blood…..then a rheumotologist… a cardiologist.  An answer would be nice.  I think. 

But all she has right now are positive results….negative results….symptoms….and no sure diagnosis.  So that leaves us with still more questions than answers.  Leaves her juggling a demanding genetics job with multiple doctor and testing appointments. 

Leaves me with a choice to make as I feel those icy fingers of fear around my heart.

It’s no mistake that a couple weeks ago, as I looked through a notebook stuck on a shelf, I found an old note from a friend written three years ago.  She wrote it after I had surgery on my right shoulder.  She ended the note by saying, “It seems that God’s message is often personal.”  And then she wrote down this verse for me:

“For I am the Lord your God, Who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”  Isaiah 41:13

I remember being a little girl at Knob Elementary School.  Every Friday, one of us King kids would get to spend the night with Grandmother and Granddaddy.  It was a super wonderful Friday when it was my turn to spend the night with them.  I thought the day would never end!  Finally, it was time to leave the school!  I would run outside and look up the hill.  Sure enough, there would stand Granddaddy, waiting for me patiently.  Up the hill I would run to his big smile and warm hug.  Then he would take my hand and we would walk to their house a few blocks away.  I felt totally safe and secure as we walked along with my little hand held securely in Granddaddy’s big, worn hand.  I had no fear…..just total trust.

How I need to be that way now with God!  God, Who takes hold of my right hand and speaks to me as a child.

“Do not fear,” He says.  “I will help you.”

He promises that to my girl, too, in a way that even I as her mother cannot do.  My words of comfort sometimes ring hollow compared to those of our God.

“Do not fear.  I will help you,” he says.

All around me are friends and family who are going through deep valleys.  Doctors, tests, dismal scenarios, dark diagnoses, uncertainty.  Exhaustion, worry, fear, guilt…..

Steve, our age, recovering from a sudden major stroke.  Atha, in the hospital and now rehab for nearly a month.  Scott, her husband, going through testing.  Nicholas, with ongoing life threatening infection and other issues.  A father and son, both with serious cancer.  So many others with cancer.  Parents with the daily heartbreak of children who have strayed from God’s way and are making bad, life changing decisions.  I could go on and on.

But like my friend said, God’s message is often personal.  Just for me, and for my Andrea, and for all of you who are struggling right now. 

“Do not fear,” again God says.

No matter what happens, God tells me not to fear.  I don’t need to fear, because He is holding my right hand.  He is leading me.  He is leading you.  He loves us and He desires our best, even if we must walk through the painful times. 

“I will help you,” He continues.

I won’t be left alone to figure it out and to handle it.  Never did God say, “Just handle it!”

No.  He said He would be there to hold my hand and to help me.  I don’t know in what form that help will come, but I do know that He has promised it.  He is right beside me.  He can’t be far away and be holding my hand.  He is near. 

The battle is the Lord’s, and the battle is won through prayer.  I talked and talked to Granddaddy as we walked along after school, telling him about my day.  God wants me to do the same as we walk along, my hand in His.  He wants me to talk to him with familiarity and with the certainty that He loves me…..He desires my best…..He desires my daughter’s best…..He will be with both of us. 

He will be with you, too.  Take His hand.  Trust Him to be right there, helping you every step of your uncertain way.

When you know Him, He is the Lord your God Who waits for you and Who takes your right hand, and Who says, “Do not fear, I will help you.” 

What better words can I impart to my daughter than these? 

What better words can I take to heart myself?

I’m letting God take my hand today.  I hope you are, too.


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