I was awake most of the night thinking of this post. I didn't get up and write it because I am trying to avoid late nights on the computer since I tend to "check" or do JUST ONE thing and it snowballs until an hour or two have gone by unnoticed! I would probably have had better sleep, if I just had got up and wrote what I was thinking and God was revealing. I thought I would do it first thing this morning before everyone got up. That didn't happen either since Mr. Middle Child woke up sick at 4:30 this morning and every time he made a dash to the bathroom the dog would start barking insanely as if the biggest, scariest, ugliest prowler was coming in a back window. Repeat that cycle for about 3 hours. Yes, it was a fun morning in the Goad abode! Hopefully the worst is over, but of course you always have to be prepared for it to NOT be an isolated event.I am finally in the book of Psalm in the 90 Day Bible Challenge. I've actually reached the half way point of days and am ahead by about a week. I'm so excited to have STUCK with a "challenge". I've failed at so many others, so it's nice to feel a victory. The greater victory has been the amazing renewed passion for God's word. I think my eyes and heart have been open more this time than EVER before and instead of it just being "words", it has reached me on a different level. It also REALLY helps that I love the version I've been reading from: New Living Translation. I still use my NIV or KJV in "deeper" study, but this challenge is about reading...not studying. Your whole purpose is to read the Bible---cover to cover---in order, in 90 days (88 days with 2 catch up days built in.) I admit, reading the Old Testament is not always pleasant and I was excited to finally be in Psalm.
As I read last night, a verse felt like it LITERALLY jumped off the page. Psalms contains MANY of my favorite verses, but THIS one isn't one that I had ever really paid attention to. Maybe it is because of the new version, or maybe I just had "missed" it before. It just grabbed me and won't let go. As the evening went on and then when I went to bed, the verse wouldn't go away and that is when God start revealing "life application" and really reached me on a deeper level.
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in EVERY detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will not fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand." Psalm 37: 23-24
Initially I found great comfort in the verse to know that God cares about every aspect of my life. It seems that right now, in the place I am right now in life, I need MOST help with the details. Most amount of stress comes from DETAILS....how to pay this bill, how to solve this problem, how to balance these roles, how to set up our day to accomplish all the needs, which curriculum to choose, which topics to cover first, what life skills need to be taught. THOSE kind of details are swirling around and leaving me dizzy. Then there are the details of illness and heartache all around and how to best support those people involved. What matters is this: GOD is in the details. HE already knows EACH and EVERY situation I'm facing and He will direct my steps when I allow Him to. He will direct me in the things I can control and even more importantly He can direct me in the things I can NOT control. He can control my response and my emotions. I can find hope in Him when hope seems lost otherwise. As the verse says, I'm going to stumble and I stumble more than I walk a straight line. The amazing thing is that He won't let me fall completely flat on my face. The only time that happens is when I'm not holding His hand. I fall flat on my face when I'm out of His will or when I try to do things in my own power. If I'm going to be walking on my own, I better be wearing one of the kid's bicycle helmets because it is going to be a guaranteed crash and burn kind of situation.
As much as I love those comforting thoughts about him TRULY caring about ME, the real amazing part that struck a cord deep in my heart was the "hand holding" part. THAT is the part that had me up ALL night with the gears in my hand spinning WAY too fast!
In my house there are two people that you will find holding my hand on a constant basis, and many times both at the same time. The other two are in the stage of being beyond hand holding by family members and not to the point of hand holding in relationships (thank goodness!!). I began thinking of holding hands with Bradlee and Kevin and how the meanings are so different and how God also fulfills those same roles.
When I'm holding Bradlee's hand, it means:
- I'm keeping you safe. I'm not letting you get struck by a car. I'm protecting you.
- I'm helping you. Though you are a BIG kid, sometimes you still are unsteady in situations and I'm giving you just a tad bit of help.
- I love you. I want to be sharing in these moments with you.
- I'm directing you. Sometimes you might want to go somewhere or touch something that you don't need to. Some things are just too tempting to leave you alone with, so I'm guiding you and keeping you from those temptations.
- Redirection. You've gone the wrong way, and now I'm going to lead you back the right direction. This hand holding is generally not so gentle! :)
- I think you are just so stinking cute and lovable and I don't want to see these days end!
When I'm holding Kevin's hand, it means:
- I love you. You are the only one for me and I want to be physically connected to you.
- I'm in agreement with you. We are in this together.
- I just need to touch you, to feel you near me. I need to know that we aren't going in opposite directions.
- I support you. Touch exhibits love and shows caring.
- I'm going to physically help you. Sometimes I may need help climbing that steep hill or coming down that BIG step.
- Comfort. Connection. Intimacy. Support. Agreement. I like you. I love you. We are best friends. ALL of those things.
As that verse keep going through my head and I kept coming back to the part about Him holding my hand, I couldn't help but get excited. Looking at all of the things that holding hands means, how could I not. HE is holding my hand and it's more than just in guidance and direction. He loves me, supports me, is physically helping me, comforting me, directing me, bringing me back on the right path when I've gone the wrong way, etc... and He simply just wants to be with me. Does that not make you feel amazing? GOD of the universe wants to BE WITH YOU simply because HE loves you. HE wants to be holding your hand! WOW!