The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, October 20, 2023, was written by Brenda Brooks of Virginia.
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. 3 You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.
Psalms 139:1-6 NRSV
When I was suffering from endometriosis, I would have intense episodes of pain. The only way I could get any relief was to lie flat on my stomach. Praying for help when a wave of severe pain would hit, I would make a fist, squeeze it tight, and imagine that Jesus' hand was holding mine. Before long I would doze off, and, on waking, the pain would be gone.
The Bible has a lot to say about the power of being held by God's hands. In Psalm 139, David praises God's constant presence: "If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast" (vv. 9-10). The people of Israel were comforted when God told them not to fear and promised, "I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isa. 41:10). In Acts 2:25, Peter recalls that David said God was always with him: "Because [God] is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." We can take heart in the fact that God never lets go of us. We are held always in God's powerful and loving hands.
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
Brenda has written a wonderfully encouraging reflection, which reminds us to hold on to God's promises for comfort and assurance. I invite you to re-read Brenda's reflection, taking note of the cited scriptures, that you might read them through your day.
Steadfast God, thank you for holding us in your righteous right hand - no matter where we go or what is happening in our life. Amen.