Occassionally I see them. An older woman holding her almost-adult daughter’s hand, gently leading her, guiding her, walking with her. As a mother of a special needs child, I feel an instant connection to this mother and I imagine that it will be my pleasure to hold my little girl’s hand like that even when she’s grown.
Rhema has never been able to just walk beside us. She’s a wanderer and a flight risk, oblivious to dangers around her. If left to her own, she can quickly get into trouble. Her understanding of language is still limited as is her ability to follow simple commands. In parking lots, stores, school, parks and even at home, we must always take her hand.
She used to resist. But now she is usually content to let us lead. And we hold on for her dear life.
It really is a gift to feel her warm, little hand in mine.
I’ve been doing an in-depth study of Genesis with a group of dear, dear women. This week we read about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Chapter 19. It is an especially ugly chapter and I struggled to know what I should learn from it. Basically two angels go down to the city to warn Lot, Abraham’s nephew, about the impending destruction. The whole region is going to be wiped out with burning sulfur because of the rampant wickedness of the people. The angels urge Lot to get his family and evacuate the city immediately.
But Lot lingers.
Disaster he cannot begin to comprehend is about to rain down on his head. And he lingers. The people of the city he once called friends have failed him and mocked him. And yet he hesitates to leave. Darkness and depravity taunt him, surround him, and God gives him an out. And he pauses.
Then the Bible says:
“When he hesitated, the [angels] grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them.” Gen. 19:16
I don’t understand His mercy, I don’t.
But I know God has been so merciful to me. I have learned in a most painful way that left to my own, I can quickly get into trouble. My ability to follow simple commands is limited. I’m a flight risk, sometimes unaware of dangers within and without; I’m prone to wander and prone to leave the God I love.
And when I was neck deep in destruction, sitting in my own ashes, face streaked with soot and tears, and I could not leave, it would have been amazing grace for God to wave a finger and deliver me.
But instead this Great Rescuer literally came and took me by the hand and led me away from sin’s punishment. By the hand He brought me – because I wouldn’t go on my own – to a place where His grace, healing and forgiveness pour out. Such a love I cannot escape.
I write about Jesus so much because I am grateful.
He saved me.
And is saving me still.
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me… he delighted in me.” ~Psalm 18:16-19
I think that every time I have the privilege of walking with my Rhema and taking her hand, I will remember Lot (…and his wife. But she’s a whole ‘nother blog post. And this post says it far better than I ever could.)
And I will remember the Christmas Savior who comes down,
who grasps my hand,
who loves me enough to hold on for dear life.