Comforting arms of hope rescue from a snarled life

I watch my grandson knee high as he bumps from one trousered pair of legs to another across the crowded room. His vision fills with legs knee high. Unless he looks up, they are like a forest without faces. And then I see him wrap his little arms around a pair and squeeze. I watch the look of surprise and what-do-I-do fill the face of the man. I see his confused what-do-I-do-with-this-little-person-wrapped-around-me cross his face. He scans the crowd for a second, wondering who the little boy belongs to, and then my grandson lifts his face. He sees someone he doesn’t expect look down on him.

I recognize myself in his look of surprise and fear.

His arms drop. He backs off, almost afraid, looks past the man’s legs and sees me. With a grin he scurries to his Daddy who stands beside me. My son leans over with a smile, big hands against his tiny waist and lifts him high. Little arms encircle daddy’s neck, and I reach out to caress my grandson’s back, because I have to touch him. I have to let the feelings in my heart out from the tips of my fingers. I want him to always feel secure, safe and protected. I want him to know who holds him.

Sometimes, I am like a little child who hangs onto something and then finds it’s the wrong thing. I identify with the confusion of mistaken affection and trust, of looking at my feet and not lifting my eyes. How easy it is for me to blindly ping-pong about without seeking God’s direction, without looking upward and without regards to His guidance.

David wrestles with life’s paths in Psalm 25. He admits troubles, afflictions and distresses have marred his perspective. He struggles with emotions brought by life’s uncertainties and injustices. He grapples with sin.

From the depths of his need He calls, “Show me, teach me, lead me.” (Ps. 25:4-5).

David is aware of his tendency to look elsewhere, and end up on the wrong path. Surrounded by enemies, he realizes the subtlety and risk of  holding onto something false.

How like my grandson. How like me.

I work and do. I seek and desire. I’m like someone who runs but forgets to look up, bent on accomplishment. I hurry from this and that, looking for what only One can provide. Substitutes trap and bring disillusionment. Facsimiles distract. Dead-ends detour. And in my haste, I can cling to what seems right. But if I don’t take the time to look up, I don’t know my mistake.

“My eyes are ever toward the Lord, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.” Ps. 25:15; NKJV.

David finds the right place to look. His attitude of humility puts him on the right trajectory, it points him to his true Father Who guides to the right path in the midst of difficulties.

God’s ever watchful eye is on His children. He bids us to look up into His face, to kneel at His feet, and to sit in His Presence.

In spite of tangled feet on treacherous paths, David’s response is, “My eyes are ever toward the Lord.” What a comfort to know He is the God of un-plucking. His arms rescue us from the traps of snarled life.

My grandson rubs his soft white hair against my son’s cheek. He nestles it in the crook of his dad’s neck. His thumb goes straight to his mouth, but it stops at his lip to lift his head and smile at me. Then he lies back in the comfort of his daddy’s arms and shuts his eyes.

Psalm 25. NKJV. 4-5

“Show me Your ways, O Lord; 

Teach me Your paths. 

Lead me in Your truth…”

Photo Credits
David Straight