Hand in Hand

Hi, everyone my name is Katie, and I thought I would give you a bit of background information to understand the story I’m about to tell. I am a first grade teacher to kids that are in poverty. It is a very challenging and rewarding job all in one breath. The story I’m about to tell you tells you about a little boy in my class last year that is so very special to me (not that they all aren’t, but sometimes a particular child reaches out and grabs you).

Earlier in the school year my class had to walk laps due to poor behavior during lunch. Normally, this child runs them and completes them quickly.  However, today he was having a very tough day emotionally. Picture, if you will, a child that is in a house full of other people, a new baby, and not much structure. Needless to say he picked up the rocks on the track and started throwing them towards other students. Another teacher informed me of the behavior, and the consequence was to walk another lap. However, he chose not to do that and walked away from me (sounds like what we do to God sometimes???) Serval minutes passed while I waited to see if he would make a different decision, but he did not. I walked over to him and asked if he would like me to walk his lap with him, and he shook his head yes. We started walking and talked about proper behavior, why we don’t throw rocks, and that I loved him and that is why there was a consequence. We ended the lap, and he merrily skipped away to finish his recess.

However, I was struck with a picture so deep within me of God and His children that I have been ruminating on it ever since. There is a well-known poem called “Footprints in the Sand” written by Mary Stevenson which illustrates our walk with Christ. Throughout the poem the man sees sections with two sets of footprints and times with only one, and the poem ends with this line, “ The Lord replied, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you.”

How many times do we walk away from God because of behavior, sin, shame, or condemnation and then accuse Him of not being there for us when it was our decision all along?  I have personally shoved God away more times that I would care to count, but yet each time I look around and feel all alone I begin to feel His arms surround me and see His guiding hand even in the midst of my disobedience. Romans 3:3 says, “What if some did not believe and were without faith? Does their lack of faith and their faithlessness nullify and make ineffective and void the faithfulness of God and His fidelity [to His Word]?” The answer to this verse is absolutely not…my pastor, Jamie Austin, always says, “God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it.” Those are such comforting words in the midst of the storms of life.

Maybe you’ve walked away from God not because of disobedience or sin, but because life has overwhelmed you and seems to be swirling all around you. Friend listen to Psalm 62:8, “Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!”  What a powerful picture of what God wants from His children. I urge you friends, as I am learning this myself, to live out the words in this Psalm. Too many times I curve inward and rely on my strength, my knowledge, my accomplishments, my works and forget that I can’t do anything to make God love me more than He already does.

God loves us and truly wants to invade every part of our lives; including those areas that no one else knows about. The areas that are painful, that hurt too much to open the door because it brings back memories that you would rather forget. Friends, I’ve been there and have walked through the process and continue to work through the process. But God is faithful and wants to heal and clean out those areas while walking hand in hand with us in fellowship and lending us His strength to make it day by day. God bless.