Where is the hand of God?

There are times when I am reminded of how fragile life is.  Yesterday, the horrific events in Boston was one of those times.  I, like many, need to hear comforting Truth that God is still with us – loving, looking after, and tending to our lives.

As I stepped outside today, this new bird’s nest caught my eye.  Protected by walls on each side, this nest is tucked away from the street’s view.  It has been tenderly crafted to hold life.

This nest carries such a deep image for me that I wanted to pass it along.

Bird's nest

God led me to see His hand is like this nest.  Holding.  Protecting.  Nurturing.  Providing.  Sheltering.  Covering.  Loving.

Then, just to prove His point even more, as I balanced on a step stool photographing this nest, out of nowhere came the mamma or daddy bird.  It was so upset I was near its nest!  It chirped, flew swift fly-by’s and clearly let me know that its presence was there.

God is in this moment to me.  His hands hold us.  His eyes watch over us.  His Presence never leaves us.

Even when we don’t see Him with our eyes – He’s there.  May we feel the warmth of His hands, look for His Presence, and rest knowing He is watching over we who are a part of this big world that He so loves.

Where is the hand of God?  It is around us sheltering us, beneath us holding us, and over us covering us.  Perhaps sometimes we can’t see it because everything we can see is viewed through the lens of His hands.  He so cares about our lives that the filter of His hands colors everything we see with His grace and mercy.

A few verses for today and every day….

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. ~ Isaiah 49:16

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,my God, in whom I trust.” ~ Psalm 91:1-2

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. ~ Psalm 139:8-10

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings… ~ Psalm 17:8

I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. ~ Psalm 18:1-2

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; 

indeed, he who watches over (you)

will neither slumber nor sleep. ~ Psalm 121:1-4

Can Jesus really relate to us?

While reading the Bible, I am amazed all over again at Jesus’ life and how much He has in common with us.  If I may, I’d like to frame His life on this earth in our modern tongue.  As you read through the list, see if anything relates to your life…


* was nearly an illegitimate child when Joseph considered breaking off their engagement

* divorce loomed over their family for a period of time

* born homeless*

* was a stepSon (to Joseph – His stepfather)

* despised since birth

* there was an attempted murder on His young life

* had half bothers and sisters

* part of a blue-collar family

* His family’s status was not highly thought of in the community

* they were poor

* His family moved a few times

* there was sibling rivalry to the point His siblings deemed Him crazy

* His appearance was just average – nothing remarkable to attract attention

* hung out with sketchy people

* tempted to sin in every possible way

* had a difficult time keeping friends

* was a loner (in that He spent many hours secluded and praying to God)

* left His job to go into full-time ministry

* often overheard crying out to God

* was not popular throughout seasons of His life

* knew hunger

* rejected by His community

* lost a loved one

* severely disappointed by His friends

* blamed for crimes He didn’t commit

* endured an unfair trial without proper legal representation

* suffered intolerable acts of violence by a corrupt system

* was refused medical treatment

* as a son, he had to entrust the care of His mother to someone else

* died alone

At Christmastime, people try to buy joy.  We party or numb our way to a mirage of peace.  We hide behind religious traditions because we can do them on autopilot.  We promote myths and legends and belittle Truth.  Why?

There are as many different reasons as there are people on this planet.  But, dare I say that one reason is that we are running from God.  Again, there are as many reasons we run from God as there people, but one huge one is that we have believed the lie that God cannot relate to us, so why try to have a relationship with Him?

Today, it was good for me to read back over Scripture and be reminded once again that Jesus (100% God & 100% man) shed His royal robe to cloak Himself in flesh and live among us.  He set down His crown and picked up a hammer as a carpenter’s Son.

He laughed, wept, worked and slept.  His family album looks a lot like ours.  When Jesus came to earth to save us, He became one of us – yet was without sin.

If this Christmas season you feel your heart wondering what this God thing is all about.  If you are curious or desperate.  If you have had enough of everything this world offers yet still feel empty.  If you can’t find another reason to live.  If you feel utterly alone.  If you think no one understands your life.  Give God a chance to prove He is everything you need.  Jesus, our brother, Savior and friend completely understands.  He’s been there.

There is a reason why nothing else in the world settles our soul.  Calms our spirit.  Gives life to our bones.  There is only one God and one Christ.  Everything else, with all of its empty promises, fails.  With Christ there is hope, joy and peace that is not bound by circumstance.  It cannot be taken away or denied.

More than twinkle lights, evergreens, shiny bows, inflatable characters and yummy baked goods, my heart drifts back to the babe born in the side of a mountain with no fanfare from the town who forbade Him a delivery room.

He understands who you are and where you’ve been.

Hebrews 4:14-16  Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Everything he went through, from birth to death, He did for one reason – love.  This Christmas, come to the true source of love that can’t be bought, returned, baked or made – Jesus.  The gift of eternal life He offers is the best Christmas present you’ll ever receive.

(*credit to Renee Ratcliffe)