“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13.
For all its simplicity, this is a breath-taking promise of provision.
God announces who he is by what he does. The right hand is (generally) the hand that leads. A dance partner will extend his right hand and take hold of yours, as the dance begins. And in the Bible, the right hand is associated with strength and leadership.
So what is it to give up our right hand? It is to give up our own right to call the shots, to make decisions and to decide on a direction. We give up our independence and take hold of his hand. We don’t decide the direction, the speed or the stops and starts. Everything is given over into the hand of the dance-partner who leads and guides us.
And –to change the image– God describes himself as a good parent who takes hold of his child in order to help. A parent’s longer legs could go faster, but they match their speed to the child. So God leads us at the pace we can go.
I have walked with all kinds of people.
I have walked with a blind man’s hand on my shoulder; with a bunch of toddlers, each holding -dutifully– a piece of my coat.
I have walked as a lover, father, friend. So it is important to me to consider that second clause. “He takes hold… He says to me, Do not fear. I am here to help you.” In much of our lives, there seems no choice of pace. It‘s like an angry parent, dragging us along, and if we can’t keep up, then we simply fall behind.
Lord, it is never so with you. You never force the pace. You walk with a rhythm of Grace that is thrilling and always exciting, but which never leaves me behind.
When I trip you are always there for me, quick as a blink.