John 10:27-30, In HIS grip!
It has come to my attention that my letter sign off, “In HIS grip,” comes across to some as, well, possibly masochistic.
Hmmm. That is not how I see it.
I guess I have some explaining to do=}!
First of all, it is not original to me. I “stole” it from my friend Audrey who taught me SO much about faith in College. Over the years I have seen others who use too. They all thought of it or found it some other way.
I have lots of reasons why I like it. Let me pull it apart and explain what it means to me…from the middle:
HIS: I belong to the creator who made me. Is God Male or Female? Yes!
– In many ways I am traditional. When I invited a professor to my sorority for our annual Professors dinner in about 1978, He asked my why we had “Chairmen” of committees in our house of women. I replied something to the effect: “We know who we are! We don’t feel the need to change a word in the dictionary.”
– Though the Trinity is not a word in the Bible, I believe in God as the Three in one. Usually thought of as the Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit. God the Creator, created humans in His image, and He made humans male and female. Male and female are the image of God. Not just male or the female, but both. Personally, I am OK with the male aspect of God the father.
I am abundantly aware that many people who read what I write have not had loving male role models. That is also why I often refer to God as Creator. I hope you can connect to the Creator, regardless of gender.
– The true attributes of God are consistently good and loving, strong to protect, always with my best interests in mind.
– I like to capitalize His or HIS because it reminds me I am not God. I am a creature, that the Kind and loving God made. This God transcends everything I can imagine, so I capitalize for respect.
So, when I write “His” to me it is not a fearful thing, but a safe thing.
Grip: Websters says it means to “seize or hold tightly.”
– When I imagine myself in the hand of God, I feel really safe. In John 10, Jesus talks about how He is the good shepherd. He loves his sheep tremendously (me & you.) He willingly dies so they can live. THAT is a lot of love!
He continues: “27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 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. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Years ago someone used these verses to illustrate to me how Jesus holds my hand. Imagine shaking his hand. He has a firm grip & does not let go. Then in verse 29 the father holds and never let’s go. Imagine a left hand holding the wrist just above the hand that is shaking the hand of Jesus. (See the photo) Then he says “I and the father are one.” That’s when you realize that one person, the loving Creator as both Father and Son, has a firm grip on your hand and wrist and promises to NEVER let go!
Even if you try to wrestle out of it, you can’t, I can’t. Trust me, I have tried too many times in years past. I have learned though, that He does not let go and He does love me. He has pulled me back from several literal and proverbial dangerous places in my life. And I am grateful.
I have also learned it is much easier to choose to hide in His grip than to fight to get out. Out of His grip, out of His protection, is not a safe place. I really do not want to be there.
Does he smother me with His grip? No! Most of the time he holds me on His open palm. Isaiah even writes how God has carved me into the palm of His hand. He loves me and you that much.
And He holds on to me better than I do to Him. Even when I think I am clinging for my life, God is the one who really exerts the effort, not me.
In: “used to indicate location or position within something.”
As a follower of Jesus, I am “in” Christ. Christ is also in me, my hope of glory. In His presences is fullness of joy. In Christ I am a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come. I am not what I was. God sees me as he created me to be… who I am becoming, not how I see myself.
So, by hiding myself in His promises, I am safe. With 40 years of walking in the faith I have experienced the joy of letting God lead and protect. I have not arrived, but I am reminded of my safe place in Him when I sign:
In His Grip,
PS How about you? How do you feel safe with God? If you don’t, why not?