Holding On

Thursday, April 23, 2009
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Acts 2:46-47 – And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (ESV)

As I played with my baby daughter sitting on my knee at the breakfast table, my wife laughed. I asked her what might be the cause for laughter at this early hour.

I had been singing and tapping my finger to the beat of a tune as it progressed. I know this was enough reason in itself, but surprisingly, it was not the cause. She had seen Zoë tapping the table with her hand, and had wondered how our little girl, whose fingers were clasped around one of mine, was able to move her arm to the beat so accurately! Then she realized, of course, that it was not Zoë's hand moving to the beat, but my finger inside her hand moving it: hence her laughter.

I reflected upon how God moves through human agency without His hand being apparent to the casual viewer. When God moves in a mysterious way to perform miracles, signs, and wonders, we recognize who the author is because it is exceptional. It is an act of grace, a challenge to our way of life, a signpost, or a warning.

Our omniscient Father foreknows, enables, and guides events from behind the scenes. For example, in Matthew 2, we read of Jesus being protected as an infant from the order by Herod to put to death all the young male children. God is willing to move unseen to carry out His purposes. In Isaiah 45, Cyrus is the visible agent of an invisible God in subduing nations.

Even in our modern, turbulent world, God is tapping to His song of love. Here are two examples from the Second World War: Irena Sendler, assisted by two dozen members of the Polish resistance, saved 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw ghetto, providing them false documents, and sheltering them in homes. Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Franciscan friar, volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

God's presence in us makes a difference!

Jesus desires us to be beacons of hope and light to those about us. As we hold on tightly to Him, we are moved by His presence, and sooner or later, it will become evident to all.

So, maybe we should ask: Who, or what, are we holding onto tightly today?

Prayer: Lord, we have belittled the enormity of Your love. By the smallness of our thoughts and our actions, we have denied Your love for us and through us. Purify our hearts and minds by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Embolden us in difficult times so that we may find favour in Your sight. Once more, inspire us as we meet with those You bring to cross our paths today. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickhenrymarshall@gmail.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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