For I hold you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, "Don't be afraid. I am here to help you." Isaiah 41:13
There is something profound about holding hands. It is that moment on a date with your spouse when you are walking, and you tenderly affirm your presence and support for one another by taking their hand. It is the mother or father that reach down to steady the little frame of their toddler that is learning to walk. It could be that quiet moment in a hospital room where a young hand embraces one that is wrinkled and weathered by life as they enter into heaven.
There is power in hand-holding and science supports its practice. A number of different studies have been completed that show pain is reduced when people are holding hands https://www.colorado.edu/today/2018/02/28/just-two-us-holding-hands-can-ease-pain-sync-brainwaves. When a couple holds hands, there is also decreases the stress hormone, cortisol, and increases the love hormone, oxytocin https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2018/february/affection . This means when you hold hands, it is making you less stressed and more connected. When a parent leads a child by the hand, the child feels safe and secure as a result of the connection.
Knowing about these attributes of hand-holding makes what Isaiah prophesied to the Israelites intriguing. God says, "I hold you by your right hand." God is reminding the Israelites that He is right there with them, no matter where they were going. When struggles and enemies come, He was reminding them that they didn't have to fear, because He was there to help. His presence described as holding their hands was meant to reassure them in their pain. God then goes on to share that He will lift them from their place of difficulty to a life of blessing. The blessing came when the Israelites looked to God and reached up for His helping hand.
In that same way, God wants to hold our hand. He wants to care for us no matter what we face in life. We have to be willing to look to Him and rely on His hand to steady us as we journey through life. We can take comfort in the fact that we are in His hands.
Moving Toward Action
Have you taken the time to reach out to God for help or are you doing life under your own strength? Take some time to think through whose hands you are depending upon. If you depend on your own strength to get you through, you will always fall short. But if you place your very life into God's hands, He will never let you down. When you come to church this weekend, get ready to celebrate the God that holds our hand.
Read Isaiah 41:8-20 (NLT)
“But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from Abraham my friend,I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
“See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and humiliated.Anyone who opposes you will die and come to nothing.You will look in vain for those who tried to conquer you.Those who attack you will come to nothing.For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God.And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob, don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you.I am the Lord, your Redeemer. I am the Holy One of Israel.’You will be a new threshing instrument with many sharp teeth.You will tear your enemies apart, making chaff of mountains.You will toss them into the air, and the wind will blow them all away; a whirlwind will scatter them.Then you will rejoice in the Lord. You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.
“When the poor and needy search for water and there is none, and their tongues are parched from thirst,then I, the Lord, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus. I will give them fountains of water in the valleys.I will fill the desert with pools of water. Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground.I will plant trees in the barren desert— cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine.I am doing this so all who see this miracle will understand what it means—that it is the Lord who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it.
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