Who Holds You – Always?
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
If I could fly on the wings of dawn, stopping to rest only on the far side of the ocean—even there your hand would guide me; even there your strong hand would hold me tight! Psalm 139:9-10
Henri once told his father that he had always wanted to be a trapeze artist.
Having become great friends with The Flying Rodleighs, Henri enjoyed conversation with them in between performances around Europe. “As a flyer, I must have complete trust in my catcher,” Rodleigh began. “The public might think that I am the great star of the trapeze, but the real star is Joe, my catcher. He has to be there for me with split-second precision and grab me out of the air as I come to him in the long jump.”
Henri was fascinated and asked how that worked. “The secret is that the flyer does nothing and the catcher does everything. When I fly to Joe, I have simply to stretch out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me and pull me safely in… A flyer must fly and a catcher must catch, and the flyer must trust, with outstretched arms, that his catcher will be there for him,” Rodleigh concluded. [Henri Nouwen, “Our Greatest Gift”]
In a similar way, God is always there to hold us tight – to catch us.
“The eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33.27) He is our dwelling place. No matter where we go in the world, God is the One who will provide a home and safe refuge. And His arms will hold us tight.
Psalm 139 is one of the most beloved passages in the Bible. It begins with David’s realization of God’s intimate knowledge of us and constant presence with us. We are told “You surround me—front and back. You put your hand on me. That kind of knowledge is too much for me; it’s so high above me that I can’t fathom it.” (Psalm 139.5-6)
Did you know God holds you?
Later this week I am in London — literally “on the far side of the ocean,” holding my precious grandgirl in my arms. She refers to me as ‘Granny ReadBook’ and so I do. Read to her. While snuggling we often share favorites such as “The Runaway Bunny” by Margaret Wise Brown. Written in 1942, it’s a classic for children. Of any age.
In this story, the little bunny wants to run away from home and experience a grand adventure. But no matter how or where he decides to go, his mother is always there — for she loves her little bunny very much.
When the bunny says he’ll become a rock on a high mountain, the mother replies that she will then become a mountain climber and climb to where he is. When he decides to hide in a garden as a crocus, she declares that she will become a gardener and find him. And when he threatens to become a bird and fly away from her, she calmly proclaims that she will then become a tree that he comes home to.
After several more scenarios the little bunny realizes the relentless love of his mother and decides, “Shucks, I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny.”
Where can you go from His presence?
There is nowhere. God’s hand will be wherever we are – to lift us up, to hold us tight.
Shucks, we may as well rest in the dwelling place of His love and care.
And be His child.
under the mercy, Cindy