Saturday, March 30, 2013

Take My Hand

When we're small our parents hold our hand, usually when we cross the street or do something equally as dangerous but sometimes they always hold our hand when we're outside. They know that if we're that close to them, connected by a hand, then they can protect us if need be: they know where we are and can keep us from harm. 

When my husband and I started dating we held hands every chance we got. I loved the feeling of my smaller hand being in his. I loved his grip on my hand: not too tight to be possessive but not to loose to be apathetic. It was just right. When other couples were around us sometimes we were the only ones holding hands but that didn't stop him from wanting to hold mine. I'm glad.

We've been together a long time. If you count our years of dating and our years of being married, we've been together over 32 years and we still hold hands. I like being near him. I like being that close. He likes knowing I want to be there by his side. He protects me. I'm afraid that he is possibly one of the few remaining gentlemen left in the world. He still walks on the outside, beside the traffic, on a side walk and keeps me on the inside. He opens doors for me and watches over me. And he holds my hand. 

Over the years, I've watched other couples, and many don't hold hands. Some women would love to but their men won't and sadly even some women don't want that visible outward show of affection. Maybe they're affectionate at home but in public they certainly are not. Placing your hand in someone else's is a sign of trust.  I wonder if they see holding hands as a sign of weakness. Maybe since their mothers held their hands and they as parents held their children's hands they  see holding their mate's hand as a sign of weakness. I don't know, but its a shame. 

In love there has to be some weakness or maybe I should say 'vulnerability'. We must allow ourselves to be open. And with that openness there is always the possibility of being hurt and because of that many people enter into relationships with the walls they have built still intact. They only allow someone limited access to their heart in fear that it will be hurt once again. I don't think you can measure love. Either you love or you don't. 

1 John 4:18 tells us "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 

Sometimes when people come to know the Lord as their personal Saviour they keep the walls of their hearts up too with Him. They're afraid to trust Him even though He tells them in His Word that they can. 

Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”
Psalm 91:2 “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”
Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. ”

I believe God wants to have a 'hand holding' closeness with each of us. After Christ was crucified the Word of God tells us that the veil in the temple, which separated the Holy of Holies from everyone but the temple priest, was torn in two (Matthew 27:51). It wasn't torn in two from the bottom to the top which was something maybe a person could accomplish. No, it was torn in two from the top to the bottom. Only God could have done that. God didn't want anything separating Him from His people any longer. Because Christ made the full payment for our sins nothing separated us from God any more.

God wants to be close to us. He tells us in James 4:8 that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. Isn't that a beautiful picture of God's love toward us? When my husband holds my hand he draws me near to him. We walk side by side. Our steps fall into place with each other's. We walk as one person. That's how God wants us to walk with Him. With nothing between us: no walls, no barriers. He wants us to place our hand in His as a sign of trust and He wants us to fall into step with Him and the direction He is setting for our lives. 

Gene MacLellan wrote a song a long time ago called "Put Your Hand in The Hand". The chorus says: "put your hand in the hand of the Man Who stilled the water. Put your hand in the hand of the Man Who calmed the sea. Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently. Put your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee." We need to hold hands with God. We need to be close to Him. We need to let Him lead us where He wants us to go. 

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