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For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13 NIV)
Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7 NCV)
AS PARENTS, WE ALL KNOW THE PLAINTIVE CRY OF OUR YOUNG CHILDREN.
It’s past their bedtimes. They’ve been washed, brushed, dressed, prayed over, kissed, and tucked in … and, yet, restless or fearful, they’ve reawakened and cry out for our attention.
As former children, ourselves, we know the scary moments in our darkened rooms when we awake, uncertain of our surroundings but certain something ghostlike hovers about. So we call out to our parents to scamper forthwith, turn on the lights, and maybe bring a glass of water with them.
God does that for us.
Imagine. The Creator of the universe tucks His children into bed at night and reassures them, telling them not to be afraid and assuring them that He is with them — us — always. It’s true! It’s in your Bible. In both the Old and New Testaments. Well, maybe not the tucking in part, but certainly and absolutely true about telling us not to be afraid or feeling abandoned.
WHAT WE’RE SAYING is that the Creator of Everything cares about each one of us individually and passionately.
Here are just a few of the many verses that attest to that. They include some about avoiding fear, some about eternal life, some about the Almighty’s plan for our lives, some about the resurrected Christ. All shown an amazing intimacy between the Creator and His creation:
- “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.” (Psalms 147:7 NASB)
- “Even the hairs on your head are counted. So don’t be afraid! You are worth much more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7 CEV)
- “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalms 139:13 NIV)
- “When I saw him, I fell down at his feet lik
- e a dead man. Then he [Jesus] laid his right hand on me and said, ‘Don’t be afraid! I am the first and the last, the living one. I was dead, but now I am alive forever.’” (Revelation 1:17-18 GW)
- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV)
HOW AMAZING IT IS that we’ve only just touched the surface of wonderfully reassuring verses of God’s love for His creation.
Isn’t it similar to how a gardener knows each plant or flower he/she has planted. What looks to us like indistinguishable stalks of celery or heads of lettuce, each one acopy of the one beside it, has had a personal encounter with the grower, who tenderly planted the seeds, packed the soil, fed the young buds, pruned the leaves, and watered the growing plant.
While Christian theologians differ over the role of an individual’s choice in one’s salvation, most agree with two very important points, both drawn from God’s amazing love for us as his creation: (1) that our salvation from God’s justifiable wrath toward our sins comes through the atoning work of His Son, and (2) that it is God’s grace, acting through the Holy Spirit, that quickens our hearts to accept that call.
We see that sinful man stumbles in the dark, unable to see his way through life without the sustaining light that God provides. In Psalms 119:105 NIV, the psalmist says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path,” and Solomon teaches us in Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding … and he will make your paths straight.”
As we stumble here and bounce off something there, how reassuring it is when God’s loving hand reaches out and grabs our trembling fist, pats our head, and says, “Do not fear” and “Follow me” (Lamentations 3:57 NIV; Matthew 9:9 NIV).
“I have said these things to you,” Jesus told His disciples and followers, “that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV).
THE WHOLE NOTION OF A PERSONAL GOD is more than most people can fathom.
It’s difficult enough for those of us who have come to know the Lord in a personal way to appreciate that the Creator of the universe cares about us individually; how much more difficult must it be for those who reject the notion that God even exists to accept that He created us in his image and then sent His Son to suffer our punishment so that the Father could reclaim us as His children.
How could they begin to take in the notion that God reveals Himself to us and claims us for His own?
Yet, the compelling message of a loving Father soothing our brow and speaking words of love into our hearts draws us to his side. Once we accept this as true, we begin to see the same loving touch impact the lives of fellow believers, which just reinforces its powerful message.
Jesus said to us, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” (John 14:6 ESV). This connection between God and man through Jesus Christ works both ways. Not only is He God’s hand to us, but He is our hand back to the Father: “There is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the human Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:15 CEB).
How comforting to hear His voice telling us not to worry, that He’s watching over us. He’s in charge.
PRAYER: Loving and merciful Father, we praise Your holy name and give thanks for Your everlasting love for us. Reassure us, our Heavenly Father, that we are Your children and heirs with Jesus Christ of Your eternal grace. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen