Holding Onto His Hand …

June 17, 2009

When I was a little girl, I would often go to a huge (or at least “huge” for the 60’s) church with my father to see a popular evangelist.  I was only six or seven years old, but I loved hanging out with my Dad and I loved going to those services. I was mesmerized with the evangelist and still remember the excitement I felt in anticipation of seeing her in person. (In fact, she remains one of my “heroes” to this day!)

The crowd I had to deal with in order to get into the services was another story altogether.  I hated that part of the experience.     I was very small for my age and most of the other people in attendance were adults. As far as I was concerned, they might as well have been giants!  I sometimes felt like I was smothering in the middle of the crowd.

The people would congregate several hours before the doors to the church would open and of course my father and I were always among the first to arrive.  As the designated starting time approached, Dad would remind me to be sure and stay by his side so I wouldn’t get lost.   He knew that as soon as the doors opened, the masses would nearly stampede into the sanctuary in attempt to find the best seats.

One particular day, I happened to be looking in the wrong direction when the security guard unlocked the doors.  Without warning I found myself being swallowed up by the crowd as everyone ascended the long flight of steps into the church.  I could barely breathe.  Worst of all,  I’d lost sight of my Dad.   My body was so enveloped by the mass of people, I swear my feet didn’t even touch the steps on the way up.  Panic set in.  I could just picture myself being trampled to death!

With all the breath I could muster, I screamed  “DADDY!”

From somewhere behind me, I heard his voice (in an almost equal state of panic) shout back.   “Beck!  Beck! I’m right here!  Grab my hand!”

Unable to turn so I could see him, I shot my skinny little arm straight up into the air in blind faith that he was near enough to spot me.  Within a milli-second, I felt my father’s hand grasp mine.  He pulled me toward him and swept me into the safety of  his arms.

Dad and I breathed a simultaneous sigh of relief.  The crisis was averted.  In my seven year old eyes, Daddy saved my life that day.

———-

My heart was a little heavy when I woke up this morning.   So far, 2009 has been the most challenging year in my almost 49 years of life.  It seems I’ve been fighting an uphill battle and I’m not seeing any end in sight.  Just like that day 42 years ago, I feel like I’m being smothered, and very much in danger of getting trampled to death by the circumstances that surround me.

While I was sitting here feeling overwhelmed and at a loss as to what direction I need to go,  an old gospel song I haven’t even thought of since the 70’s began to run through my mind.  Some of the words to it are:

“One more river to cross, one more mountain to climb, one more valley that I’ve gotta go through, leaving my troubles behind.  One more battle with the devil, but I know he’ll understand.  I’m going through with Jesus Hallelujah!   ….  Holding to His nail scarred hand, holding to His nail scarred hand …”

It was those words that reminded me of the day my Daddy’s hand reached out and grabbed mine … the day he pulled me from chaos into the comfort of his arms.

I know there are a lot of others who can relate to what I’m experiencing.  We can’t see where our Heavenly Father is in the middle of our mess, but we do know He’s here.  Did we not see Him only moments ago before the chaos started?   We may feel helpless to do anything at this point … except call out to Him, thrust our hands above our heads, and wait for Him to respond.   We might not be able to find him, but in faith we know He’s aware of our exact location.   He’ll lead us through to safety.

Just believe!  And hold on tightly to His hand.

Blessings!

Becky J. Taylor

6-17-09

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