My younger brother and I were recently on a long, fun road trip. We tried to keep a variety of music playing as singing and humming our favorite hymns and songs from musicals usually helps keep us awake and in a cheerful mood (fatigue often plays a big role in our little sibling arguments). As we drove through the mountains of western Pennsylvania, Jesse popped in a CD of hymns recorded at a singing school we have both attended in the past. The hymn “Hand in Hand with Jesus” came on as we went around curves and descended into valleys. I hummed along to the alto as it brought back memories of singing the chorus of this song with friends as a child. How simple life had seemed then.
I sighed thinking of the simple words of the song and realized how often I really do mess up in this area of my life. I’m much like the toddler who will be holding a parent’s hand until she sees something interesting and then wants to let go to run investigate. I have found that sometimes my Heavenly Father does let go long enough for me to learn that He is worth far more than the things of this world no matter how shiny and appealing they seem, while at other times He strongly holds my hand and won’t let go His grasp as I tug and pull wanting to go run see what all the fuss is about. I don’t always understand and in my immature lamb state of mind, I may pout wondering why He won’t let me go look. Sometimes He reveals to me later how He protected me and sometimes He doesn’t reveal why which is all part of the ongoing lesson of learning to place trust in Him above understanding my circumstances.
I felt convicted as I sat there watching the breath-taking scenery fly by and gazed at the winding road before me. I live a busy life, way too busy of a life. I find myself longing for quiet and keep promising myself that one day I’ll be past this and then can sit down and breathe. However, I’m learning how unrealistic that idea is. Quiet and a state of not being busy are not going to be the themes of my life anytime soon. True, I am doing better about making time to just rest and seek sanctuary from it all, but it’s only a small fraction of the time. If I want to truly walk hand in hand with Jesus each day and seek that true peace and quiet only found in Him, I have to make Him my priority now. This is where I struggle because I want Jesus to be my first priority, but looking at my life right now in how I put my schedule together does not necessarily reflect that desire.
Why, oh why am I so often timid about sharing my faith? I started humming the song “Ashamed of Jesus” yesterday and felt convicted knowing that just the day before I had been afraid to say a blessing over my meal in front of others. I struggle in these areas because I am weak. Each sermon I have heard lately and even providentially the Scriptures I frequently see quoted keep pointing me to Christ and convicting me. I am not strong because I’m not properly seeking His nourishment first thing each day and clinging to Him in everyday life.
“Hand in hand we walk each day, Hand in hand along the way; Walking thus, I cannot stray, Hand in hand with Jesus.”
By His grace, I want to do better each day. There is a reason He tells us in the Psalms, particularly in Psalm 46 to “Be still, and know that I am God” since being still is not our natural inclination as dumb sheep who are so easily lured away from the Shepherd. I hear Him whispering to me to be still and trust Him through reading and hearing the preaching of His Word. I need to listen.
A simple chorus of a song that can be easily memorized by a child can so very often make a profound impression when the Spirit brings it back to mind when that child becomes an adult. May we all recommit our lives to Him and walk hand in hand with Him each day.