The current guidance here in the United Kingdom is to remain in your homes as much as possible. There are only a few reasons permitted to leave home, one of which is for exercise once a day, either alone or with members of your household. When we go out for our daily exercise, especially if there are people around, I hold my children’s hands so we can remain the now required two meters (six feet) away from others.

My youngest isn’t a fan of holding my hand. He knows he has to some of the time, but as soon as there is a clear path ahead and he is able to be free, he’s away! Unless we meet a big dog: then he comes running and tightly holds my hand until the danger of the dog passes.

I often say, “It’s ok, I’m here, there’s nothing to fear.”

In Isaiah 40 and 41 the prophet jumps between describing the tenderness of God and the power of God. Isaiah 41:10 and 13 have provided me with great assurance and comfort over the years.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you!

Don’t be frightened, for I am your God!

I strengthen you—

yes, I help you—

yes, I uphold you with my victorious right hand!

For I am the LORD your God,

the one who takes hold of your right hand,

who says to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am helping you.’

God tenderly says “Don’t be afraid.” When we ask,“Why not?” He answers, “For I am with you!” The great I Am, Yahweh, is with us. The very thought warms our hearts. In case we missed it He repeats: “Don’t be frightened, for I am your God!”

Our loving heavenly Father promises to strengthen, help, and uphold us with His victorious right hand! This reminds us of the steadfastness of our God who has promised to hold us for eternity. As Jesus says in John 10:28, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; no one will snatch them from my hand.” At the end of Isaiah 40 (verses 28-31) we get a sample of the power and strength and help God provides:

“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is an eternal God,
the Creator of the whole earth.
He does not get tired or weary;
there is no limit to his wisdom.
He gives strength to those who are tired;
to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy.
Even youths get tired and weary;
even strong young men clumsily stumble.
But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength;
they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings,
they run without growing weary,
they walk without getting tired.”

We do get weary, we do get tired. So much is not as it should be. We long for Christ to return. But we are called to wait for the Lord.

Over these days I have found that much of my weariness and tiredness is due to my own frustrations regarding the changes to daily life. Yet as the missionary Amy Carmichael found many years ago, “in acceptance lieth peace.” I have found this to be so true.

I love how in Isaiah 41:13 God takes our hand and reassures us to not be afraid: “I am helping you,” He says. There is nothing to fear for He is in control of the world He created. While it is fallen, His redemptive plans and purposes are being worked out. Later in Isaiah 42:5-6 our Creator God again takes our hand to lead us, protect us, and make us a light to the nations. There is a purpose to God’s leading and guiding –  that we would live lives that shine as lights to those around us, pointing them to our Savior. We have plenty of opportunity to do that in these days.

This world is not as it should be. But just as when my son, in fear, runs to hold my hand, we can run to our Savior. When fears seek to wash over us, we can run to our heavenly Father, and take hold of His powerful, steadfast hand and be strengthened to keep going.

He is with us, He will never leave us. Our future is secure in Him. Take His hand.

Julie McIlhatton,

Love God Greatly Writer – Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

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Fear & Anxiety

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