I saw them in a lush green park, a family three-some. Sandwiched between mom and dad, a little girl with pudgy legs, light-up shoes and brown pig-tails lifted her legs high. I stopped to watch because they were so noisy in their shared delight.
She swung inches above the mirrored puddles on the path, held up by two loving hands. Her legs spun airborne then landed again on solid ground only to be lifted again at the next rain soaked dip in the pavement.
Her curls bounced with each up and down jerk. Teleported between steps by strong protective parental hands, she skimmed along the way, carried over and beyond rain drenched sections on the path.
“One, two, three,” her dad said, and on cue mom and dad lifted her. Little feet soared, swinging like an untethered sail boat above the puddles.
Her left and right little hands were held firm, grasped by bigger ones that brought her to a giggly squirming glide. Observing them, the picture brought Isaiah’s words to my mind.
“So do not 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.” Isaiah 41:10 NIV
I have felt that lift, the joyous exhilaration of God doing the unexpected, the miraculous and the divine. As though unseen arms picked me up and skimmed me past my circumstances to the other side. I’ve been there like that child, high enough to coast above the muddiness below.
I’ve also sloughed through the mire, not soaring at all. I’ve wondered why answers hid. I’ve begged for arms to raise me up and out. I’ve sat like King David in a pit.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2 NIV
I know what it means to find the slimy pit deep and unscalable. But I also know He reaches even into the darkest spots. His arm is long and His grasp is solid. And like a child surrounded in safe protection, He raised me again in His time and Sovereignty. I stood firm again.
The little peddling feet remind me of His proximity at all times to where I am.
“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8 ESV
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.” Psalm 125:2 ESV
Before and behind.
“…for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.” Isaiah 52:12b ESV
Above and below.
“If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” Psalm 139:8 NIV
Safe and secure.
“My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” John 10:29 NIV
A family in the park has no idea of deeper truths illustrated by their happy walk, but I am grateful for the reminder to me today, when the sky is blue but my heart a little gray. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt Who holds my hand, Whose grip is strong and Who is going before, behind and all around.
And I too am lifted.
Oh what a delightful story my friend. I love knowing that God holds us firmly in His mighty hands. Amen! And like you, I’ve experienced Him both lifting me out of the searing heat of a trial and having Him carry me over a coming one so I might avoid it.
Thank you J.D. I’m always encouraged by your responses. Walking with the knowledge that He surrounds us on all directions is a precious thought and I love the way you relate to what is up ahead. Thanks!
Great analogy and one I identify with. So many many times I’ve been lifted up and over and yet so many times I’ve had to muddle through those spots but always with God’s hand.
Cleo, “always with God’s hand.” You said it well. Thanks for reading and I appreciate that thought!
Rev. Andrew brucato
thanks for the reminder
Thanks Andy. I always love your support!
Sylvia, I enjoyed your beautiful, easy-to-picture analogy. Thank you for adding the verses to increase our faith.
Thank you Jeannie. You are always such an encouragement. I appreciate you!
So encouraging Sylvia! God bless you as you share so many encouraging thoughts and I know that it’s not all head knowledge but God has walked with you through some very rough times but He is always faithful as we all experience at different times. Love to read your thoughts💕
Thanks so much Mary! I appreciate so much your responses and you taking the time to read. Grateful for a God Who goes behind and before and covers my sides too!!
Such an uplifting message, Sylvia. I felt like the little girl being swung by her parents, your words brought me joy. Thank you for reminding us that God is “all around us,” all the time.
Thanks Katherine. I am also lifted thinking of Him surrounding me. I appreciate you reading it and responding. Such an encouragement to me today!
Thank you Sharon! We serve a Wonderful God, don’t we!
So thankful that the Lord surrounds us on all sides and keeps us safe and secure both from and in the snares of life.
Yes, absolutely Joanna. Appreciate you reading and your response!
Sylvia, thank you for reminding me of God’s constant presence in my life. How would we make it without Him. Thankfully, we don’t have to! Reminds me of this scripture:
“I have placed my words in your mouth and have hidden you in the hollow of my hand…”
Thanks Rebecca. The thought of Him being all around me is a precious one to me. I love Isaiah 51 too. Love the thought that of being hidden in the hollow of his hand!