For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "Do not fear; I will help you."
I get nervous when the LORD impresses upon me words that I find in the Old Testament. I don't know why, maybe it's because of the Hebrew, the right to left reading; or maybe it's the characters versus letters that make me a little twitchy. I like Greek words. Although they aren't much easier to decipher, at least I can recognize some of the letters that look somewhat like those in the English alphabet.
I don't know why I get nervous around Hebrew. Maybe it's just because it's THE language. The first language. The ancient of ancient languages. I get nervous around it especially when it seems the more I try to understand a Hebrew thought with an English speaking mind the more my mind spins around the word or phrasing.
That happened today. I got stuck, or should I say, I kept seeing the phrase "hold you by your right hand." I had been in the Word, getting my dose of comfort on this anniversary of horror when I stumbled upon a verse in Isaiah I had highlighted long ago.
I love that verse. It is comforting, and I quickly felt its power as it settled in my soul. But I couldn't get that right hand business out of my mind. This probably seems really silly to you, but I could not let it go.
Right hand. Right hand. My right hand. God takes hold of my right hand.
Well if God is taking hold of my right hand, what hand of his is he taking hold of mine?
So, you guessed it, a digging I go.
And I'm still digging.
Enter Psalm 63:8, bringing along a flashlight - My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. Psalm 139:10 chimed in too as it brought out the pick to break apart a rock covered wall - Even there Your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
So can you picture it like I'm seeing it right now? My right hand is being held by God's right hand. Like when two people meet, which hands do they shake? Right, right?!
So if God has my right hand and I have God's right hand, we're facing each other, right? If God had my right hand by his left hand, we would be walking next to each other, wouldn't we? Kind of like that God is my co-pilot nonsense. I don't think that's how God rolls.
I don't think that's the picture God is trying to show me. If God and I are joined by our right hands, we're facing each other. Eye contact is being made or at least we are face to face, better yet, even if I can't see his face, He sure can see mine! What is he seeing, I wonder? Fear, excitement, anticipation?
If God and I are joined by our right hands and we are walking along, one of us is always going to be walking backwards, aren't we?
If God and I are joined by our right hands and one of us is always walking backwards, wouldn't it make sense that the One walking backwards is the One who can see what's coming because He's already been there and He's just leading us along, like an eager father trying to surprise his blindfolded child as he leads him out to the garage where his new bike is parked.
"Steady now, I've got you. Just one more step than we're off the front porch. Easy now, there's the broken concrete, step over carefully. I've got you. We're almost there."
See, when we can't see what lies ahead because we're blinded by whatever may be blinding us - our sin, our pain, our shame, our grief, our.....fear - God has us, by our right hand with His right hand.
I haven't found out a lot about what that left hand is doing, but I'm thinking that Holy left hand may be wrapped around my waist, every once in awhile it's knocking a branch or two out of the way, but mostly it's just keeping me steady as I walk in the dark, trusting the sound of His voice.
"Do not fear, I will help you."