Intertwined Hands

The minute they walked into my house, her little hand intertwined with mine. With intertwined hands, she led me throughout my house, pointing out items. “Tara, what is this?” “Tara, where did you get that?” “Oh Tara, that is so pretty.” This sweet little girl was not afraid to hold my hand. For her, there was such comfort and joy in intertwining her hand with mine.

What if we were more like her? What if we readily intertwined our hands with Jesus’ hands? Because the thing is, my friends, that Jesus’ hand is always waiting for us to hold onto. Jesus is waiting for us to intertwine our hands with his.
There are so many days that I want to intertwine my hands with Jesus. In fact, there are days that I reach out and intertwine my hands with his. Yet so often, I lose my grip and find myself letting go even though Jesus is fighting with every fiber of his being to not lose his grip on me. 
In mountain climbing, it is essential to have all of the right tools since different conditions will show themselves as you work your way up that huge cliff. I am not a mountain climber but have many friends who are. They make sure to take lots of water with them and lots of fiber like trail mix to give them good energy. They also make sure to take poles and other items to keep them safe. Without these items, it would be extremely easy for the climber to lose their footing or their hand grip. 
Like climbers need essential tools for safety, God sent Jesus as that safety net for us. When we have lost our own footing, Jesus extends his hand and asks us to trust that he will pull us back up to safety. When we are holding on tight and still manage to lose our grasp, Jesus holds on even tighter. And most especially on the cross, Jesus extended his hands for us. He breathed his last breath and died on the cross for our sins. But then, three days later, God raised him from the dead…because only God has the power to overcome death and the grave.
Knowing that promise, I want to more readily intertwine my hands with Jesus, knowing that love is worth the risk. Yesterday my blog friend Jennifer Dukes Lee wrote a beautiful post for her Tell His Story linkup. Her post reminded me that love is indeed worth the risk. Love is worth reaching out my hand, intertwining my hand with Jesus, and grasping on tight as I trust in this holy one who promises to never leave me or forsake me. (You can read Jennifer’s post here: When Love is A Risk)

I am not one hundred percent sure what God has in store for me, but I am hearing the call to intertwine my hands with his more and more each day. And with our hands intertwined, I am choosing to hold on tight and trying so hard to not let go. I am trusting in this one who always extends his hand to each of us just like my friend’s daughter so easily intertwined her hand with mine. So today and hopefully every day after, I am choosing to intertwine my hands with Jesus’ and am hanging on for dear life!

Linking up with Thoughtful Thursday at Creative K today:

The Master Risk-Taker

I AM NOT A RISK-TAKER! You won’t catch me jumping out of any planes! Or driving around a race car track going 100 plus miles per hour. I am more than comfortable knowing that things are going to stay the same. Yet during college, my friend Kristi and I (neither of us being risk-takers) decided to hop in the car and drive from Bismarck ND to Fargo ND about a four drive. Kristi was craving Olive Garden and the closest OG was in Fargo so in the car we went. I remember looking back on that experience thinking how crazy we were especially being the hotel we stayed at was not the classiest hotel.

Yet Kristi and I learned something that day! It is more than okay to take risks. God wants us to trust fully in him and to know that even when we take risks, he is standing there right beside us. I honestly don’t know if I would have gone to work at SuperAwesomeBibleCamp, or gone to seminary, or…..if I hadn’t taken that risk that day during college.

But because I have learned to be a little bit of a risk-taker, I have had some amazing blessings occur in my life. I graduated seminary even after struggling immensly with systematic theology. I remember my advisor telling my candidacy committee that it took more guts for me to stick with it. I wouldn’t have gone to work at a Bible camp for seven summers if I hadn’t taken the chance. And I wouldn’t have gotten that job if the camp director didn’t take a risk with me and hire me. I remember very vividly him saying to me, “I didn’t think you would make it but now I can’t get rid of you.” And I wouldn’t have listened to all the times God told me to take a risk…like leaving my last call to come to my new call.

I may not be the risk-taker that many others are. But what I am slowly learning is that when I, when we fully trust in God, God has a way of showing us that taking risks can and will pay off. Jesus himself is the master risk-taker. Jesus lived his life in the eyes of many who believed wholeheartedly in him and in the eyes of others who ridiculed his every move. Yet Jesus turned the world upside down, by taking his own risks, washing the feet of his disciples and sitting with tax collectors and sinners. Then ultimately, Jesus stood, arms outstretched, a crown of thorns upon his head, and breathed his last “It is FINISHED!” But he said those words knowing that God (his father) wouldn’t risk his life if he didn’t have the power to overcome death and the tomb. That my friends is exactly what happened.

There are still days that I look at Jesus’ sacrifice and wish I was more of a risk-taker. I wish that I wasn’t so afraid to be vulnerable; to share my own story. My friend Dana who I met through her blog and as part of the 31 days challenge continues to teach me about what it means to be vulnerable and to take risks even though it is SCARY! I honestly cannot put into words how much I love this woman (and we haven’t even met in real life yet!) because she reminds me that its about leaning in and trusting in this one who reminds us of the words we hear so many times in Scripture “Do not be afraid.”

You see, there is power in those four little words. Mary came to the tomb that Easter Sunday morning to see her beloved Jesus’ body. Yet when she came to the tomb, the stone was rolled away and Jesus was no longer there. Oh how risky….risky for Jesus to be raised…risky for us to believe like Mary and see that his words had come true. Jesus is no longer dead…he is alive! And because Jesus is risen…and because he is here, I find myself clinging to the promise that he will never leave me or forsake me. He will never leave YOU or forsake YOU either…..especially when we lean in and trust in him.

So my friends, as I come to the tomb and still see the tomb rolled away, I am going to try and be more of a risk-taker…a risk-taker who uses her gifts; the gifts God has given her to share his own messages of grace, love and being the master risk-taker; the one who sent his son knowing that death would not have the last word but that he would.

I am linking up with these lovely ladies today Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory, Meredith Bernard for #Woman2WomanWednesday, Kelly Balarie for the #RaRa LinkUp; and Holley Gerth for #CoffeeForYourHeart.