For Dear Life

Psalm 91:14-16 (the message)
“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
   “I’ll get you out of any trouble.
I’ll give you the best of care
   if you’ll only get to know and trust me.
Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
   I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,
   give you a long drink of salvation!”

When do we hold on to something or someone?  When we think we are going to fall or lose them.  We don’t hold on to them when all is comfortable and well…but as we sense loss or fear our fingers begin to tighten and our grip becomes stronger.

Many times in my life I have let go of God’s nearness when trouble came.  Perhaps because I saw that I “messed up” and a sense of condemnation kept me at a distance.  Lately, however, I just know I have to hold on to Him.  No matter what.  When things are hard, whether it’s because of my issues or someone else’s..whether it’s simply uncontrollable circumstances of life or consequences of choices made, I am determined to hold on.  The devil would like nothing more than to drive a wedge between me and Jesus…to see me cower in fear or pain, in disappointment or even anger.  It has worked on me so many times before…

This morning as I read “hold on to me for dear life” I thought this is not someone walking with God and not a care in the world.  “For dear life” implies the situation is critical.  Maybe it’s so hard that it’s all you can do not to let go of your hope.  Maybe it’s all you can do not to give into the rage nipping at your heels.  Maybe you feel like “what is happening to me?”  Perhaps you don’t even like the person you are in your current season of life.  These are the times to hold on for dear life!  These verses acknowledge trouble, yet they don’t ask or clarify who caused the trouble, what you did wrong, why you didn’t choose better.  The verses don’t give you the out as “victim” of someone else’s choices that brought you trouble.  Because in the end maybe God is just a lot more interested in getting you out of the trouble…of holding on to you as you hold on to Him!  He longs to give us “the best of care” if we’ll only get to know and trust Him.  Again and again, throughout the Bible, it all comes back to relationship.  To knowing Him.  Once you know Him you can trust Him.  But if you don’t know Him…not about Him…if you don’t know in your own life that He is faithful and forgiving, compassionate and caring, the same yesterday, today and forever then it will be hard to hold on when you want to give up.  When you want to go back to the same-old, same-old…back to what you know. 

He says “Call me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times.”  This is where it all rests…the getting to know and trust Him….the holding on.  Call Him.  He promises in this verse that He will answer.  The beauty of it all is that He will answer you in a way He knows you will hear.  He probably won’t speak to your heart the same way He speaks to others you know.  You are a unique person He dearly loves and so He will answer you and speak to you in whatever way it takes for you to hear, know and accept that He loves you and He longs to rescue you.  I believe He wants to “throw a party” and celebrate the victory that comes when we hold onto Him for dear life.

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