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  • Stacy Sanchez

Take My Hand

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

“Papa! Come wook! The twee is going to bwake! Huwee, Papa!”

Hand in hand, my husband followed our breathless four-year-old grandson outside.

“See, Papa. It’s bendy. The wind is gonna bwake it.”

“Yep, I see. The wind is really blustering today, isn’t it?”

Apparently, my husband’s concern for the tree’s welfare didn’t rise to the level of a preschooler’s distress. Our grandson stomped his foot and insisted his Papa do something.

“Follow me, kiddo.” My husband led him to another of our newly planted trees. “Look at this tree. What do you see?”

Like a mini detective, our grandson inspected the tree and announced, “I see…a twee.”

My husband snickered, “Yes, it’s a tree. But this tree is different. It’s being supported by two poles. I took the poles off the other tree and it’s time to take them off this one too.”

“But why, Papa? Its gonna bwake.”

My husband picked up our grandson and reassured him, “It will be okay. It’s not going to break. You see, when the trees were planted, the poles helped to support the tree trunk. But now, the tree is strong enough to stand on its own. If I don’t take the poles off, it will depend too much on their support and the trunk will be weak. When the other tree was strong enough, I took off the poles. It has learned to bend in the wind and not break. Now the trunk will grow strong and thick. So, when you see the tree bending in the wind, just remember the trunk is getting thicker and stronger. Weak winds make for weak trees. Strong winds make strong trees.”

“And maybe it will grow so, so big and so, so strong I can climb to the top,” our grandson chirped as he leapt out of his Papa’s arms and began to pantomime climbing a tree.

“I have no doubt you will, and I will be there to give you a boost.” My husband smiled and said proudly, “That’s why we planted these trees, to watch the grandkids climb to the top.”

That isn’t why we planted those trees, I thought to myself. We live in a stinking hot desert and needed to shade the property. But I am a good wife and didn’t say anything. I let him have his Norman Rockwell moment.

Have you ever been afraid that the winds of life will bend you to the point of breaking? Or felt too weak to overcome fear? I think we all have. Life’s fun like that.

This is how the people of Israel felt in Babylonian captivity. They were so fearful that God said to them, “Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob” (Isaiah 41:14 NIV), meaning, they didn’t have a backbone. I completely understand. I’ve been frightened to the point of worminess, too.

If this is where you find yourself today, please be encouraged. No matter what you’re going through, God promises He is holding your hand and will help you. Unlike my tree that must become strong without the help of support, in God’s kingdom we become strong only WITH His support. God does not leave us alone to flail at the mercy of the wind. He invites us to grab His hand and hold on for dear life. There is no such thing as needing too much support from Him. Strong winds may make strong trees, but strong people are made by holding God’s hand during life’s hurricanes.

Father, thank you that you do not expect us to be strong on our own. Instead, You want us to depend on You. What a loving father You are. Help us to remember to take hold of Your hand and never let go. No matter what we are facing, and no matter how strong the wind blows, You are supporting us. Our strength is in You. Amen.



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