One of my earliest memories of my Daddy is of his hands. I remember being in our small Nazarene church in Santa Fe, New Mexico, sitting on the pew between him and Mom. At some point during the preaching, I took Daddy's big hand in my tiny ones and played with his fingers. I remember turning his hand over and studying the lines there, bending fingers back and forth, and basically entertaining myself. Daddy was an Engineer for the highway department by day, but on the weekends he used his hands to build a beautiful Santa Fe-style adobe home our family lived in for 55 years. His hands were not soft and smooth, but had calluses and strength. Daddy wasn't showy with his affections, but those hands comforted me and told me I could trust him to take care of me. He never let me down.
The above picture not only brings back that sweet memory, but it also reminds me that my "Daddy" in heaven wants to take me by the hand. His scars are available for me to touch, to run my fingers over, and to know the love that spilled out of him for me as he hung on that cross.
"But I'll take the hand of those who don't know the way, who can't see where they're going. I'll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I'll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don't fall into the ditch. These are the things I'll be doing for them--sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute." Isaiah 42:16 The Message
As I'm preparing to attend the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference next week, I'm thankful for these words. God has all my tomorrows in his hands. He knows the roads I need to take and the roads I need to avoid. He already knows the books I'll write and the book ideas that might not ever make it into print. I trust him to open doors that will lead to new opportunities and close doors that should remain closed for my good even if I don't understand. His plans and purposes for me have been in place since before I was born. The work he has for me to do is already prepared. I don't have to do anything more than take his hand and walk into them. Isn't that great news?! No struggles! No forcing my way onto a road I wasn't supposed to be on. No fear and no regrets. Just peace, joy, and fulfillment, knowing I'm exactly where God wants me to be, doing exactly what God wants me to do.
Have you fallen into a ditch because you weren't holding fast to Abba's hand? I've been there too, friend. Thankfully he doesn't leave us there to wallow in the mud and muck. He'll offer his hand over and over, until we finally understand that holding onto his hand is the ONLY way to travel through life.
Tomorrow is unknown to every single one of us. Like the passage above says, it's "unknown country." When we travel to places we've never been, it's so much better when we have a knowledgeable guide who knows the area, the attractions, the sketchy and dangerous places where we shouldn't go. That's exactly what our Father is offering. He'll show us the roads to take, and he'll protect us along the way.
All we have to do is take our Father's hand!
Who's hand are you holding?