A Firm Grip

I’ve been traveling a lot lately.  I’ve been with lots of moms—in Ireland, in Illinois, in Texas, and closer to home in Wisconsin.   As always, I come home seeing many mom-faces before me, hearing many mom-stories playing in the back of my head.  And as always, I’m both praising God and praying more because of all the moms I’ve met.

You moms are incredible!  I am continually amazed at the strength, the patience, the perseverance, and the fierce love you have for your children.  It’s a love that continues to love even when loving comes hard.  It’s a love that loves kids through their toughest ages and stages.  It’s a love that persists—and maybe even grows stronger—when you’re a single adoptive mom of two special needs kids, or a mom who’s had to file a restraining order against your children’s father, or a mom who’s parenting alone because Daddy is incarcerated.  And maybe hardest of all, it’s an everyday love that perseveres 24/7/365, day after ordinary day.  I hear your stories, I see your faces, and I honor you as heroes.

But I also know that what you are doing is hard.  Very hard.  And you cannot do it alone.  Which is why one particular picture persists in my mind.  I keep seeing this picture not only because it is a picture of my daughter and granddaughter walking along the Irish Sea.  Of course that helps—but I actually have much better pictures of these two special people.  The reason the picture is ever before me is because it reminds me of you.  It reminds me of what you are doing every day with and for your kids.

But it also reminds me of God.  It reminds me of God and what He does every day for you and me because we cannot walk this walk alone.  Whether you are currently single or married or “feeling single” even while married, you do not have to walk this “mama-walk” alone.  Hear what God says to you:

“Don’t panic.  I’m with you.  There’s no need to fear because I’m your God.  I’ll give you strength.  I’ll help you.  I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. . . That’s right.  Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.  I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’”   (from Isaiah 41:10,13 in The Message)

In the NIV we read that God will “uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10) and “takes hold of your right hand.” (Isaiah 41:13).  Just like the picture!  But I do like the “firm grip” Eugene Peterson describes.  And these are just two of many verses in the Bible that talk about God holding us.

No matter what you’re going through today, no matter how mundane or ordinary or overwhelming your day, He’s got a firm grip on you.  Can you feel it?