In the Hollow of His Hand | March 31st, 2020
I am sitting here at my desk, listening to rumbles of thunder and heavy rain pouring out of an ominous, gray-colored sky. Thankfully, I got in my morning walk before the storm arrived.
It is day ten of sheltering in place, hiding as best I can from the threat of the coronavirus lurking in the shadows of the outside world. I leave my safe haven only for a brisk walk in the neighborhood or to pick up a few food items at the grocery store when absolutely necessary.
Within the sound of the rain against my window, I can hear my mother’s voice, softly singing to me as she often did to console me when I was a little girl…
“Safe am I, Safe am I, in the hollow of His hand.”
I feel comforted. But life is definitely different right now as I think about how so many privileges I once took for granted are suddenly gone. Whisked away without warning, from me – and everyone else – for an indefinite amount of time.
I think back to just a couple of weeks ago. What a privilege it was to…
…FILL up my grocery cart without limitations. I could buy as much of whatever I needed because the shelves were always fully stocked.
…have a STABLE income with a busy work schedule, never worrying about getting a paycheck.
…pop in and out of OPEN shops where I could walk inside and buy what I wanted whenever I wanted to buy it.
…purchase tickets to delight in entertainment of every kind so I could FULFILL my heart’s desire for worldly pleasure.
…PLAN adventurous or relaxing vacations, buy a plane ticket, and travel almost anywhere in the world.
…have CONNECTION in person with good friends, celebrating a birthday, promotion, new job, or simply enjoying each other’s company.
…confidently invest my money, feeling SECURE in my savings and investments as I watched them grow.
…attend a church service with other believers, ENCOURAGED to press on toward a stronger faith in God.
These privileges are a distant memory at the moment, but perhaps they have been taken away from us for our eternal good. To get our attention. To realize our crucial need for Someone greater than ourselves. To cause us to look up from our knees, giving thanks to the One who made each of these privileges possible.
There is good news if we are followers of Christ. He has given us His promises to lean on which are especially comforting during this frightening, chaotic, and uncertain time. Along with His promises, we are given eternal privileges, unlike our earthly privileges, that can never be taken away. We can experience them beginning right at this moment and all through eternity!
God’s Promises for Our Eternal Privileges
What a privilege it is to be FILLED up with unlimited purpose. We will never run out of things God has planned for us to do when we use our gifts for His glory. Even during times like these when we are sheltering in place, we should never have a reason to be bored. He does not want us to be idle or our time to be wasted! We will always be given plenty of purpose through the opportunities He provides.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
What a privilege it is to be STABLE in knowing God loves us unconditionally. Nothing can change that. Our greatest need is to be loved by someone who knows us intimately with the kind of love that doesn’t change in spite of all of our faults. God is that “someone.” He loves us so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for us so our sins would be forgiven, making us pure and clean so we could live with Him forever in a perfect Paradise…a place with no more sin, no more viruses, no more tears, and no more death.
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 1 John 4:9
What a privilege it is to know that we can always count on God to be OPEN and available to listen to us whenever we want to talk to Him in prayer – anytime, night or day. He greatly desires intimacy, wanting so much for us to seek His presence and share the details of our lives with Him including our deepest fears and anxieties. He knows we are experiencing plenty of fear and anxiety right now with all of the uncertainties ahead and wants us to give it all to Him to carry the burden for us so we can continue to be a shining light for Him.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13
What a privilege it is to worship our Creator, the Almighty God. He is the only One who can FULFILL our deepest desires by delighting in Him. He designed us to worship. Sadly, instead of giving Him our worship, we often give it to other things such as sports, music, power, entertainment, money, and relationships. God is a jealous God and does not want us to worship anything less than Him. When we make God the object of our desire, He fulfills us by revealing to us the path of life and by filling us with joy – yes, even in the midst of a global pandemic!
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
What a privilege it is to be able to give our PLANS to God and let Him guide us. We have been taught to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and figure it out all on our own but He delights in our dependence on Him. As our Provider, He will give us everything we need, right now during this time of crisis and after it is over. We just need to be patient and trust in Him who will supply our every need in His perfect timing and according to His perfect plan.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
What a privilege it is to enjoy meaningful friendships. It is a gift from God to have friends who pray for us, encourage us in our faith, rejoice with us, are lovingly honest with us, and spur us on toward being obedient to God so we can experience true CONNECTION with them and with Him. Even though our friends may walk away at some point, our friendship with God is eternal. He will never leave us! That is a wonderful promise to hold onto during this time when we may feel very alone while we are social distancing and isolating from friends and family.
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
What a privilege it is to confidently feel SECURE in our eternal inheritance. Everything on earth is in the continuous process of deteriorating. But our inheritance of eternal life is beyond the reach of decay because it is not of this world. The benefits of our inheritance begin when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and continue into eternity. They include the riches of His grace, mercy, peace, kindness, glory, wisdom, power, and so much more.
Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 1 Peter 1:3c-4
What a privilege it is to be ENCOURAGED through reading God’s Word which is both timely and timeless. Among all the books ever written, the Bible is completely unique because we hear God’s voice speaking to us. It is living and timely as it addresses all of our deepest needs and discerns the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. It is timeless as it is inerrant and always available to us, filled with the assurance of the hope of our salvation, perfect peace, comfort in affliction, unwavering faithfulness, unconditional love, and overflowing joy.
God’s Word is timely:
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4
God’s Word is timeless:
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8
The rain has stopped and the skies are finally beginning to part ever so slightly through the thick, oppressive clouds, letting in a tiny sliver of sunshine as if to remind me there is hope in the midst of this unimaginable storm.
Though many of our earthly privileges have been put on hold, I am grateful God is giving us this time to focus on our eternal privileges and the greatest privilege of all…an intimate relationship with our loving Savior, keeping us safe and secure in the hollow of His hand.
Sparkler #1: Prayer
Ask God to take away your fear and replace it with a strong faith and trust in your Protector who loves you unconditionally.
Sparkler #2: Action
Instead of focusing on your earthly privileges that have been taken away for a time, find hope by focusing on your eternal privileges that can never be taken away.
Sparkler #3: Challenge
Use this extra time away from all of the previous distractions to spend it growing your relationship with God in prayer and reading His Word so you can experience His perfect peace and overflowing joy in the midst of the storm.
*Open hand – photo credit: unsplash
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