Quite a few years ago, when I had barely begun my journey as a volunteer missionary, I was faced with a big decision. I was fretting and fearful and ended up struggling for days with this decision. God eventually answered by giving me a simple illustration.
It was a picture of a little girl holding her father’s hand as they walked. All the while, she was fearfully begging her father to hold on to her: “Daddy, please don’t let go of my hand!” On and on she went, until finally her father stopped, knelt down, and looked straight into her eyes. With a firm but loving voice, he told her that he would never let go of her, that as long as she wanted to stay close to him, he would always lead her and walk beside her.
I got the point and made my decision. There have been many other important decisions to make since then, but when I struggle with fear of the outcome, of making a mistake, or of going astray, this illustration always comes back to me.
Of course, life is full of wrong turns and missteps, and sometimes we zig when we should zag, but we can always return to God’s side and find our way again. He promised to never leave us or forsake us.1
On the lonely and rugged mountain trails, He is our companion. On the trek through the desert, when we thirst and feel the dryness of life and wonder when (and if) we’ll find the oasis, He is bringing us closer with each step. When we push through the crowds and confusion of day-to-day life and struggle against endless questions, weariness, and discouragement, He walks beside us and tells us, I’m here. Talk to Me. Tell Me all about it.
And say we do fall, we blow it, and mess up—like so many of His followers that have slipped, tripped, and fallen on their way through life’s journey. Does He ever give up on us?
Of course not. The thought would never even cross His loving and forgiving mind.
Then why do we worry and fret? No matter what decisions I’ve faced or how daunting they might have seemed, I can sincerely say that I have never regretted holding on to His hand!