But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
A crowded room. A busy street. A new place. There are many times in life I have reached out, grabbed my child’s hand and said, “Follow me.” As we weave our way through a sea of faces, as we maneuver the busy streets of the city, or as we venture into the unknown, I take my child’s hand and I don’t let go–even if they try to.
This is the picture God gave to me this morning as I bowed my knees in prayer. For the friend whose father is making choices unlike the man she has always known and loved, I hear God whisper in her ear, “Take my hand and follow me; I’ll lead you through this muddy mess.” To the one whose infant son is in the hospital recovering from major surgery, God is reaching out His hand saying, “Come, follow me. I will guide you every step of the way. I’ve got you and your sweet little man in the palm of My hands.” To the precious friend who just finished her last chemo treatment and is now preparing for surgery, God is there, with a reassuring smile, hand outstretched, speaking those words of comfort: “Come, follow me. We’re in this together.” And for me, the one whose future seems to change with the seasons, God daily offers me His hand, assuring me as only He can, “Take my hand sweet daughter of mine. You may not know where you are going, but I do. Let me lead the way.”
Whenever I envision my Lord calling my name, reaching out His hand, bidding me to take His outstretched hand and follow, I am also reminded my God who calls me and promises to lead me does so because I am His sheep, and He my Divine Shepherd. He is your Shepherd as well. And as our Shepherd, He may not always lead us out of trouble, but He will always lead us through it.
God cares for me because I am His, and He is mine. He cares for you, too. Jesus Himself reminds us in His Word, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).
Did you catch that?! No one is able to snatch us from our Father’s hand. No one! Oh what comfort this brings! How awesome to know the God of all not only leads us, guides us, and protects us, but also He never lets us go. Never. He’s got that hand of mine–He’s got that hand of yours–in His loving grip, and He is not letting go. Again, He is not letting go, and He never will. Why? Because you are His.
So is a relative making choices you wish they wouldn’t make? God’s got you both; let Him guide your every prayer. Is cancer attempting to steal your health? God with His healing power is holding you tightly this very moment; trust in His healing hand. Is fear, worry, anxiety, and the unknown attempting to steal your joy and peace? Fear not, my child, God knows it all and has already walked the path before you. Just follow His lead.
“Come. Follow me.” Every moment of every day God speaks these sweet words of encouragement. He is continually calling each of us to Himself, calling each of us to place our trust in Him–and in His sovereignty.
He is calling right now. Can you hear Him? I pray you can. In fact, I am going to end today’s post with God’s own words of comfort and encouragement. And I encourage you as you read not to skim these verses because of familiarity. Rather, take your Savior’s hand and allow Him to lead you through His song of comfort prayerfully. I pray as God guides you through, you hear His still small voice whispering each and every word of love to the depths of your heart, bidding you, His precious child, to “Come. Follow Me”:
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
(Psalm 23 NLT)