Held In His Hand: The Trust That Lifts Me From Worry
Imagine a very small premature infant held by her father. He can hold her in one hand. No matter how she squirms or turns, he will never let her fall out of his hand. She’s his. Her power to move around will never be greater than his power to hold her.
Now imagine if she could worry about her safety. What if she saw the ground far below her, and knew that if she fell, she might die? What if she thought that her father might drop her if she kicked around? She’d be afraid to move.
Far too often, I’m that baby. I’m held safe by God, my loving Father. But I worry that I’ll make a mistake and He’ll drop me.
Too Much For Me
We weren’t made for fear. No one expects a baby to keep himself safe. That’s what parents do. God doesn’t expect us to control our future. That’s what He does. So many times I’ve heard God tell me, “I’m not afraid of you.”
He has to remind me of that because I’m often afraid of me. I’m afraid that in my not knowing the right way, I’ll go the wrong way, and then I’ll be stuck away from his good plan for me. What if I mess it all up in my weakness? That pressure is torment.
I forget that God is much bigger than me. He wants me to fulfill his plans for me more than I do. I’m not the only one who wants me to do the right thing! He is good, and he’s holding me, holding my future. He’s watching me kick and squirm, allowing me to grow stronger, and he’s guarding me safely in the process. I trust him.
I have to trust him. Worry is awful. It hurts me because it’s too much to bear. It also hurts me because it keeps me from resting in God’s loving care for me. Fear hinders the relational intimacy that trust brings.
When I think back to my salvation story, it centers on this very realization of trust.
One day when I was 13, I sat on my porch and felt overwhelmed. Looking out at my familiar backyard, I considered my childhood faith. I had always believed in Jesus and thought I was going to heaven. But consuming questions interrupted my security, flooding my mind and refusing to let go. Hours turned into days and weeks, and I still wondered. I wondered if my belief was perfect enough to be the kind of belief that gets one from the fires of hell to the warmth of heaven. I felt burdened with confusion.
The risk was so great — hell itself — and my part so small — trusting in Jesus’ death to save me. How could I be sure that my simple act of trust and belief was the kind that would buy me salvation? Isn’t believing the right thing about salvation crucial to having it? What if I was confused about salvation one day? Would it make me unsaved?
I went up to the front of my church’s sanctuary several times to pray a sinner’s prayer with someone and be sure I was saved. But I came away wondering if my belief measured up. Was it enough? I worried and worried.
Finally, a woman I prayed with at my church relived my burden with this simple picture. “Have you ever trusted Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to be enough to save you?” she asked. “I think so?” I said, asking myself if I had.
She held up her open hand and with her other hand touched her palm. “If you trust in Jesus to save you, God holds you in the palm of his hand, and he won’t let you fall out because you’re confused one day about salvation. He’s bigger than that.”
All I Needed to Do
A period of overwhelming worry and confusion broke for me. Salvation was mine. All I needed to do was let go of my worry and trust that God is big enough to save me, in spite of myself. Jesus has already done everything to merit me salvation, and all I have to do is trust.
So it will be today, and for the rest of my life. Trusting God to be enough for me isn’t just a once-in-a lifetime event I recall fondly. It’s an act of surrender that I need to make every day so I can recognize my Father’s loving face smiling down on me as he holds me. In that place my soul breathes free.