And I was good at it. I could hold that wooden rung with the best of them.
My teacher explained it was to encourage hand strength. I thought it was more of a mind game. For I learned if I didn’t focus on that wooden dowel and how my hands were wrapped around it, I always fell too soon.
Now that I’m older, somewhat wiser, and less physically fit, I know holding on tight takes tremendous strength. And concentration.
I’m not sure when my thoughts shifted. When holding on tight began to show signs of weakness instead of strength. When clinging to someone suddenly held negative connotations…
But friends, I will never forget when my newborn son’s fingers curled around mine for the first time. How firm his grip felt for such a small being. The clench dug deep into my chest as love encapsulated my heart. For in that moment I knew I was his whole world. Nothing else mattered.
He needed me. As much as I needed him. So it doesn’t surprise me one bit when I read:
“Show love to the Lord your God by walking in His ways and holding tightly to Him.” (Deuteronomy 11:22 NLT)
For when we hold tightly to Him, love envelops our Heavenly Father. Our necessity of Him is confirmed.
I admit, I struggle with holding on tight. I don’t think it’s because of the daily conscious effort required. I believe I try to show I can do this on my own. I convince myself it will bring Him glory if I prove how strong and capable He made me to be.
Time has weathered more than my wiry frame it seems. I’ve got some re-focusing to do.
If I want to capture my childlike faith, perhaps I need to revert back to my childlike thinking as well. From now on, this day is going to be my favorite. No more struggling with trying to do it all by myself. No more trying to prove anything other than the fact that He’s my whole world.
Yes, I will be striving to hold on tight to my Savior and let Him carry the load. I will consciously choose to focus on Him instead of my surroundings. And maybe, as I grow stronger, it will get easier. Maybe it won’t.
One thing I do know, I’ll be able to proudly proclaim:
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.” (Psalm 18:2 NLT)
How about you? Are you holding on tight? Have you stopped trying to do it all on your own? I’d l ove to hear and learn from you.
Nikki is a loved wife, blessed mom, mere child saved by grace who strives daily to live like she deserves it. Before she was blessed with her role as a mother, her favorite jobs included teaching piano and working in interior design. She has a hard time saying no to peanut butter and chocolate and if you meet for coffee, a chai tea latte will be in her cup. She journals her thoughts on a blog titled Simplystriving. There you will find her journey of seeking joy in the everyday while simply striving to become all that God has made her to be.