For those that may not know, when I'm not working at our church I keep busy with my job at WEC (Worldwide Evangelization for Christ). One of my favourite things about working at this mission organization is getting to read newsletters and prayer letters from missionaries around the world. Stories of redemption and grace, struggles and perseverance come through our office every day. They allow us to rejoice and to grieve with those out on the field who are working to show Jesus to their neighbours in a meaningful and life-changing way.
One letter that passed through our office recently began with a quote that struck me. It was a Latin phrase meaning “To hold and to be held”.
What a beautiful phrase, with a beautiful contrast in imagery: “To hold” is active and conjures up images of strength and purpose. “Being held” conveys an idea of safety and rest.
But what does it mean to have safety and strength? To have purpose and to rest?
I've often said in my blog posts (mostly as a reminder to myself) that in Christianity, there is no striving for God's love. He gives it freely and unconditionally. Praise the Lord for that!
But that doesn't mean that we don't strive for anything; that we don't have something to hold onto.
We strive to know God more, and to make Him known. We intentionally seek His will for our lives. We are purposeful about being in His Word; loving Him more as we learn more about who He is.
This takes discipline and strength. More strength than I have some days.
Because sometimes I struggle to hold on, and I just need to be held.
Days when I don't understand why God put me in a certain situation. Days when I see people I love hurting, and my prayers seem to go unanswered.
It's on these days that I'm so grateful to be held.
Held in the knowledge that my weakness doesn't diminish God's strength. That my doubt doesn't unravel His perfect plan.
Whatever season you are in right now, know that God is working in it, and He is working in you.
Hold on to Him, and when you don't have any strength left, be held.
Jolene Sanders, Director of Worship
“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4
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