Hand in Hand

Dancing to a favorite song.

A journey or hike to a final destination.

Playing "pairs" in tennis against the things of this world. 

I've heard many metaphors used to describe relationships with Christ and walks in faith, but I've always viewed mine as a leisurely walk. Hand in hand, just chatting about the good and the bad, the worries the fears and the praises. This could stem from a poster I vividly remember hanging in my church's youth room while growing up. The familiar "Footprints" poster and poem. It became more real to me, though, after hearing Matt Maher's gorgeous recalling of the fall of man in his song, "Garden". 

"In the cool of the day
You come and meet me
All the blue fades away
The stars are winking
Your love's so strong
I can't recall
What was this thing
They called the fall?
And You walk with me
You never leave
You're making my heart a garden
Oh, why would I hide
Away from Your face
When the light of Your love
Illuminates?
Your hand in mine
A steady line
Drawn on my heart
And deep in my mind
And You walk with me
You never leave
You're making my heart a garden"

I was walking my children to the park one evening. The air was beginning to cool and traffic was slowing as families were surely gathering around dinner tables and winding down after a long hot day. My youngest has been walking for several months, but she is still terribly clumsy. Even though she desperately wants to be independent and make her own choices of direction on our path, I still long for her to hold my hand. Not because I want to be in control, but because I fear for her falling, fear her getting hurt. She doesn't always agree to hold my hand but when that little hand is safe in mine, I can breathe easier. Not only does it give me relief that she's taken care of, but there's not much sweeter than the sweet grip of a child's hand.

It hit me all of a sudden, when her little pigeon toe hit a rock and she lost her balance. I had her hand and pulled her back up before her dimpled knee hit the pavement.

I realized that this is exactly how Christ feels about us

He always wants to hold our hand, walk with us, commune with us. We don't always want to follow His path, though. We often drop His hand without realizing because we want to do life our way. Stumbling while holding His hand, though, makes for a much easier fall and to surely have strong and sturdy arms to pull us back up. 

You know what, though? I also realized that if my children drop my hand, too big to need mama's help, and stumble along our course, I would never leave them there to cry alone. I'd run over, make sure they weren't hurt too badly, grab their hand and pull them up.

Why wouldn't our God do the same? 

Even when we think we can do things on our own and navigate our own way, once we stumble, which we will, all we need to do is call on Him. He'll be right there with an outstretched hand ready to pull us up. 

"Though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand."  Psalm 37:24

Yesterday, we found out that the Celebrate Recovery, here in our hometown, has been approved to enter into the local jail and lead a Bible Study with the women incarcerated. They need money to buy the study materials and Bibles needed to carry out this amazing ministry. 

What a beautiful picture of what this shirt truly means. Celebrate Recovery is giving these women the tools to call upon Christ and allow Him to pull them out of their predicaments. They have a chance to make a comeback, but they need to know Him. 

This is what we do, friends! We get shirts onto the backs of children who go without. We can get Bibles and study materials into the hands of women who desperately need someone to take a chance on them, need to know that Christ can be that someone. 

Buy the shirt- reach out a hand to these women so they can know Christ and let him guide their new paths.

Wear the shirt- spread the message that no matter what life deals us, with Christ's help, we don't have to stay down.

Love and Blessings, 

Anna