IN GOD’S HANDS
Psalm 31:15 NIV
My times are in your hands!
John 10:29 NIV
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
Isaiah 41:10 NIV
So do no fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I was ecstatic! My dad and mom were going to take all 5 of us kids to see a huge outdoor circus. I could hardly wait to see all the animals perform and all the circus acts. It was going to be quite a long drive in my dad’s old car. All 7 of us crammed into that old car, some laying up on the back seat by the window, some of us sitting in the back seat and some of us laying in the big spaces of the back floor of the car. This was long before car seats, SUVs, and vans! This was way last century!
We finally arrived, and all of us kids took off running to the bleachers trying to get the best seats. My dad went to get us all some popcorn, and the circus was just beginning. I was enthralled by all the elephants walking right in front of us, lining up to perform. It was the most amazing sight I had ever seen as a 10-year-old boy. All of a sudden, I felt a drop of rain on my head. I didn’t pay too much attention to it at first, but then another, and another landed on my head, so I looked up. The sky had turned black. I mean scary rolling clouds of black. Then it happened. Huge flashes of lightning, thunder, and rain came pouring down on all of us. My dad stood up, yelling for us to run for the car. He grabbed the small ones who couldn’t walk fast, and the rest of us ran as fast as we could to the car. The rain was so hard it actually hurt when it hit me. We were soaking wet by the time we got to the car. We climbed in, and I remember as a young boy how scared I felt, as we began the drive home. The storm was the most intense storm I had ever experienced. This particular old car used the kind of wipers that went slow when you drove slow and faster when you drove faster. I knew even as a little kid, that this was a dangerous and scary situation. It was as though someone was pointing a firehose at our windshield.
I distinctly remember thinking it would be best for me, not to sit there staring out the front window watching as my dad drove us the long hours home, as it was just too scary and nerve-racking. So I curled up, laying down on the floorboards of the back seat. As I lay there, the sound of the rain pounding down on the roof of that old car, I remember thinking, “I am so glad my dad is the one driving us home. My dad knows what he is doing. My dad has the steering wheel in his strong hands, and he will get us all safely home.” This thought, this belief was so strong in me that I eventually fell asleep even in the midst of this terrifying storm! Sure enough, sometime later, I woke up and we were safely home.
This story became a profound metaphor for my Christian life as an adult. Though I freely admit, I have been through storms in my life that were so terrifying, and painful, I have not always felt the same peaceful confidence as that little boy on the floorboards of that old car.
However, the reality of my father’s strong hands driving me safely home through that torrential rain led me to understand a powerful divine truth in my adult life – My times are in God’s hands! This profound truth has carried me through to the other side of the most horrifying events and challenges of my life. It has brought me much comfort and sustaining strength to know with absolute certainty that God is greater than all my enemies, greater than all my tribulations, greater than all my challenges and terrorizing life storms and none of these will ever be able to snatch me from His strong, powerful, loving hands.
I have watched and experienced now all my life, how God has brought me safely through the most horrifying, agonizing storms of life. He’s helped me in amazing and miraculous ways. He’s held me up from complete destruction and emotional ruin with His powerful hands, and He will do the very same thing for you, for he is your God also.
I have been bruised and battered, at times even despairing of life, as Paul himself writes. I have felt great agony of soul and spirit. I have indeed suffered many things. I have many scars. Yet still, through all of these, God held me and helped me with his strong, powerful, loving hands, and each time brought me safely to the destination he had planned for me.
God will do the same thing for each of you, for your times, and your life is also in his hands. In God’s all-powerful hands you are safe even in the midst of torrential storms. Though there are times in our lives when it seems our life is in the hands of people who hate us, despise us, or treacherously betray us, who appear to have power over us, the reality is God’s powerful, invisible hands envelop us, just as they did for Joseph. In spite of all the great evil done to him by others, God’s powerful hands brought him safely through their evil actions and intentions, to the very place God intended to bring him.
For those of you who are going through especially difficult times, this series will be a blessing and encouragement to you.
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling