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Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Won't Let Go!

 
When I was a little girl, we had friends of our family who had a pool. They would invite us over during the summer to swim.  What a special treat for us!  However, my mom was nervous around water as she is not a very good swimmer; so as a result, my brother and I were a bit shy in learning how to swim.  One day my uncle was there with us.  He wanted to get me over the fear of water and help me to learn to swim.  He just didn’t think through the best possible way to do that.  He was a teenager, young and impulsive.  On this particular summer day I had no idea what awaited me.  My uncle slipped up behind me when I was walking around the pool, picked me up and threw me like a cannon ball into the deep end of the pool!  Momentarily, I popped up like a cork, spitting out water, gasping for breath and flailing around wildly trying to stay afloat.  While he thought there was “method to his madness”, it only served to instill yet more fear in me. On other occasions I recall my dad being with us.  His first step was quite a different approach from my uncle.  He would hold me up and then ask me to lie back in the water in his arms and relax.  He was teaching me how to float.  He would say “Don’t worry I have you and I won’t let you go.”  In time, the fear subsided and I learned to trust Daddy and soon learned to float on my own!  What a difference his method made to me.

          Life experiences are like that sometimes too.  We find ourselves at the deep end of the pool totally unprepared to survive – flailing miserably - or should I say “failing” miserably.  Perhaps we are thrown there due to the actions of another; maybe we are there because of a wrong decision on our part or simply there due to “life” issues that are beyond our control.  Sometimes we find ourselves in the deep end, simply because we knowingly jumped in there, thinking we were ready and could handle it.  The result is still the same.  We begin to sink!  There is someone like my dad, who promises to hold us up, to subside our fear, to build our trust, to keep us safe and to teach us to stay afloat!  Father God said, “I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I'm not letting go.  I'm telling you don't panic.  I'm right here to help you.”
         
          Last night a friend of mine shared a beautiful song with me with powerful lyrics.  Yes it was written speaking about the steadfastness of love and friendship, family etc. but I believe it also speaks about the faithfulness of God.  It is sung by the group Rascal Flatts and is entitled “I Won’t Let Go”…

It's like a storm
That cuts a path
It's breaks your will
It feels like that

You think you're lost
But you're not lost on your own
You're not alone

I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you've done all you can do
And you can't cope
I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I won't let go

It hurts my heart
To see you cry
I know it's dark
This part of life
Oh, it finds us all
And we're too small
To stop the rain
Oh, but when it rains
I will stand by you
I will help you through

When you've done all you can do
And you can't cope
I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I won't let you fall

Don't be afraid to fall
I'm right here to catch you
I won't let you down
It won't get you down
You're gonna make it
Yeah, I know you can make it

'Cause I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you've done all you can do
And you can't cope
And I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I won't let go
Oh I'm gonna hold you
And I won't let go
Won't let you go
No I Won't

          There have been many times in my life where I have found myself in the deep end of the pool, or perhaps out in a terrible storm drowning, afraid and feeling alone.  I confess, sometimes I swam to that deep end.  At other times life and unkind selfish people threw me there.  At other times well meaning people led me there.  But each time, GOD was there!  Yes, He was there reminding me that He would not let me go!  

No matter what you are facing today, there is Someone who promises to hold you up and to never let you go!  Perhaps you are drowning in abuse or addiction, maybe loneliness or fear.  Maybe the tide of divorce or illness or grief has swept you away threatening to pull you under one last time.  You could be sinking in financial chaos or family strife.  Whatever it is that is trying to overcome you, relax!  God’s hands are holding you up.  He won’t let go!  He will teach you how to trust again, believe again and how to float above those things that are trying to consume you.  As I listened to this song last night, I began to recall the ways that God held me up even most recently.  He uses many things – the smile of a child, the hug of a loved one, encouragement from a friend, words in a meditation, a song, unexpected provision, sunshine peeping through a cold rainy day… so many ways that HE reminds us “I've picked you. I haven't dropped you.  Don't panic. I'm with you.  There's no need to fear for I'm your God.  I'll give you strength. I'll help you.   I'll hold you steady; keep a firm grip on you. Count on it…”  Yes count on it today God won’t let go! 
  
“…You're my servant, serving on my side.  I've picked you. I haven't dropped you.  Don't panic. I'm with you.  There's no need to fear for I'm your God.  I'll give you strength. I'll help you.   I'll hold you steady; keep a firm grip on you. Count on it:  Everyone who had it in for you will end up out in the cold—real losers.  Those who worked against you will end up empty-handed—nothing to show for their lives.  When you go out looking for your old adversaries you won't find them—not a trace of your old enemies, not even a memory.  That's right. Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I'm not letting go.  I'm telling you don't panic.  I'm right here to help you.” (Isaiah 41:9-13 MSG)