On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
— Psalm 63:6-8
Growing up, I had a lot of fear in my life – fear of the dark, fear of failing, fear of danger, fear of having a broken family, fear of scary images, fear of what other people thought of me… the list could go on. These fears did not paralyze me from living my life, but they certainly kept me from enjoying it many times. I knew that God existed and that He loved me, but I just didn’t know where He was, especially when life became challenging. Despite these thoughts, I came to learn how frequently God made His presence known with many people in the Bible and how they were ultimately in His hands.
When Moses was about to go against Pharaoh, God said, “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12). When Moses died and Joshua was to lead the people of Israel, God said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). When Gideon felt inadequate to save Israel under Midianite oppression, God said, “I will be with you” (Judges 6:16). When Jehoshaphat was going against a vast army from Edom, God said through Jahaziel, “You will not have to fight this battle … Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you” (2 Chronicles 20:17). When Isaiah prophesied about the fall of Judah and the future comfort of God’s people, God spoke to Israel through him saying, “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). When the disciples received the Great Commission, Jesus said, “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
The promise of God’s presence is certain and yet all too often, the circumstances of life overwhelm and cloud what we know to be true from the Word of God. But, if we would choose to remember what God has done in the Bible, as well as in our lives, if we would purpose to think upon His promises, and if we would dare to believe Him at His Word, I believe we would find that God is not only faithful, but that we have been in His hands all along.
I will never forget my years as a child in Children’s Ministry enjoying intimate times of worship with God, where the worries of life seemed to fade away. One song in particular has always stuck in my mind by Reuben Morgan, called, “In Your Hands”. The lyrics of the chorus and bridge are powerful:
So close I believe
You’re holding me now
In Your hands I belong
You’ll never let me go
All along You were beside me
Even when I couldn’t tell
Through the years
You showed me more of You
More of You
After years of walking with God through many ups and downs, I can honestly say I have never felt more close to God than in times of trial. When things seemed hopeless, it was then I knew to cling to Him and His promises. Looking back, I can clearly see that He never let me go. Like clay in the potters hands, the Lord never took His hand off of me. Instead He continued to work in my life, producing in me faith more precious than gold and joy that has been my strength (1 Peter 1:7; Nehemiah 8:10).