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Holding On

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

There’s rarely a time when I can’t appreciate a bit of encouragement. Scripture tells us many times not to be discouraged, and I imagine the reason the Lord spoke it so many times was because it is a trap into which the enemy often plots for us to fall. Years ago, I heard a story told by Bishop Carlton Pearson about a woman who attended his church when he was a little boy. Her name was Mother Sherman. She would ask him, “You yet holdin’ on?” He would affirm that he was holding on in the faith, to which she would respond, “Well, keep on keeping on then, baby” (Pearson, 1997).

100 Day Promise

No matter how old we are, we all need encouragement to keep holding on to our faith. This past week I was scrolling through Facebook. I saw that a friend had posted a photo of her child celebrating his 100th day of school. I immediately thought of my last 100th day of school when I taught first grade, and I scrolled through my gazillion photos to that day so that I could share my photo on her page. The date was January 23, 2013.

In the photo, I was standing in my kitchen in front of my pantry. My intent was to take a photo of my hair and makeup, and the outfit that I’d put together for that day. I’d used baby powder in my hair to give it that gray look and a black eye liner to draw lines where wrinkles might show up from 100 years of laughing at or scolding little children. I had on pearls, a turtle neck, jogging pants, bedroom slippers, and a bathrobe. I knew my first graders would get a kick out of my get-up for the day.

100th Day of School Holding On Believing for a Miracle
100th Day of School

As I looked back on that photo taken so many years ago, something caught my eye. It was part of a 4×6 index card that was poster-puttied to the pantry door where I could see it every day. On it was Scripture. 3 John 1:2, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (NKJV). That photo on the 100th day of school was taken when I was still holding on to a promise in the Word.

Holding On to the Promises

Holding on to the promises in the Word truly became a lifestyle as we used it to war for the health of our son. The battle wasn’t easy and we at times became weary. But holding on was the only viable option! Have you ever been there? Maybe you are even there right now – holding on and waiting for God’s Word to come to pass in your life.

Waiting is rarely fun. However, the way we wait may impact the outcome. At the very least, it determines our mental health in the waiting. A few years ago, Chris Tomlin wrote a song titled Whom Shall I Fear. The lyrics reference the Scripture found in Isaiah 54:17. Tomlin wrote, “nothing formed against me shall stand. . . . I’m holding on to Your promises. You are faithful” (2012). Truly, God is certainly faithful to perform His Word. In fact, Jeremiah 1:12 (ESV), reads, “Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching over My Word to perform it.'”

The Hard, Long, Unfair Place

The promise written on that card and hung on my kitchen pantry door has been fulfilled in the life of my son. In the waiting, it was hard. It felt long. Things felt unfair. But we kept the Word of God in front of our faces every single day, in various locations all around the house. The wait was hard, but God was our Comforter. It was long, but we were never alone. It felt unfair, but God brought new mercies every day to help us endure the difficulty.

If you are in a place that seems hard, long, and unfair, keep holding on to the Word. Keep on keeping on, God will never fail you. He will never leave you. His Word will never disappoint. Do not be discouraged, keep holding on.

Remember, there will come a day when you will be able to tell how He helped you overcome today’s adversity and step into tomorrow’s miracle. Keep believing for a miracle. Charles Tinley (1905) wrote, “we’ll tell the story, how we’ve overcome.” When that occurs, your miraculous testimony becomes the key to someone else’s breakthrough. You see, the Word tells us in Revelation 12:11a, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.”

Keep believing! Keep holding on to your promise, your miracle is on the way. Indeed, it is on the way! Keep holding on!

Today's adversity is tomorrow's miracle. Keep holding on!

To learn more about Holly’s story, get your copy of the author’s book, Believing for a Miracle. Also available on Amazon in Kindle or Paperback.

References:

Cash, E., Cash, S., Tomlin, C. (2012). Whom Shall I Fear [Recorded by C. Tomlin]. On Burning Lights [CD]. Atlanta, GA: SixStepsRecords.

Pearson, C. (1997). Mother Sherman [Recorded by C. Pearson]. On Carlton Pearson Live at AZUSA 2, Precious Memories [CD]. Nashville, TN: Word Records.

Tindley, C. A. (1905). By and By [Recorded by C. Pearson]. On Carlton Pearson Live at AZUSA 2, Precious Memories [CD]. Nashville, TN: Word Records.
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Hide-and-Seek

“God conceals the revelation of His Word in the hiding place of His glory. But the honor of kings is revealed by how they thoroughly search out the deeper meaning of all that God says.”

Proverbs 25:2 TPT

 

I loved playing Hide-and-Seek as a child. My siblings and I would play it in our big, woodsy back yard or in the house on rainy days. We’d spout chants of “no peeking” and “count slowly” as the three of us ran in different directions away from the fourth child who was “it.”

         One of my favorite places to hide in the house was under the kitchen sink. I could curl myself up on the side that didn’t have the plumbing, though I’m sure my mom didn’t appreciate my shifting her cleaning supplies. I could stay quiet there for a long time, hidden behind the dark brown doors.

         I’d keep my giggles smothered by my knees as my hands curled around them to keep me in the confined space. Then I’d listen intently until I heard the screams of one of my siblings being found in another part of the house. Quickly, I would make my escape so that I could touch base without being tagged. If my brothers ever opened the cabinet door behind which I was hiding, there’d be no place for me to run. The startled feeling of being found was always followed by the immediate sinking feeling that I was now “it.”

Love of the Game

Hide-and-Seek

My love of Hide-and-Seek hasn’t changed much since I’ve grown up. But being “it” is the most fun for me now. I love watching little children scurry to hide from me before I close my eyes and count slowly and loudly.

         Not too long ago, I had the privilege of watching the daughter of a friend while my friend worked. The little girl was about three-years-old. Together we played a game of Hide-and-Seek. I closed my eyes and began to count slowly and loudly to ten before announcing, “Here I come!”

         My eyes opened. I could hear light giggles and noticed a child-shaped bulge in the curtains by the big picture window. In the space where the curtains nearly touched the floor, ten of the cutest little wiggly toes peeked out.

         I spent some time calling her name and announcing the various places I was looking that I hadn’t found her. With each announcement of “no, she’s not under the table” or “no, she’s not behind the chair,” her giggling increased. When I finally “discovered” her hiding in the curtains, she squealed joyfully, eyes dancing, as I uncovered her. We then began Hide-and-Seek again, the hiding place rarely changing between there and under the bare table.

Hide-and-Seek Challenge

There’s not much credit one can take when finding the obvious hider. It took no skill at all to find my friend’s sweet little one. You can’t brag a lot when you tag the person under the sofa cushion. The cushion-covered body is hard to miss! It becomes quite exciting, however, when you finally find a hider in the most obscure place! This makes the game’s challenge very rewarding.

         I was thinking over this experience when talking with a friend recently. You see, God plays Hide-and-Seek with His children, as well. The difference is that God doesn’t hide Himself from us. Instead, He hides Himself for us to find. While my friend’s little girl wasn’t intentionally giving herself away with her giggles and visible toes, God is very intentional. He, too, wants us to find Him.

         Proverbs 25:2 reads, “God conceals the revelation of His Word in the hiding place of His glory. But the honor of kings is revealed by how they thoroughly search out the deeper meaning of all that God says” (TPT). Digging into the Word helps us to learn more about the principles that help us live a more victorious life. Scripture contains simply-stated rules to follow, to be clear. It also includes hidden treasures that reveal more of God’s character and love for us. Other verses we must ponder and ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand.

Rules of the Game

Hide-and-Seek I eagerly seek You

In one article, Bill Johnson explains one of the reasons for God hiding things for us. He states (2013) that “Revelation always brings responsibility.” Becoming aware of God’s expectations of us makes us responsible to carry out what we’ve discerned. James 4:17 (TPT) puts it this way, “So if you know of an opportunity to do the right thing today, yet you refrain from doing it, you’re guilty of sin.”

         This is not a comfortable truth perhaps, but it is certainly a truth we need to hear. As we begin this new year, I pray that we will all dig into the Word. It’s my desire that we learn more about God, His character, and His love for us. I also pray for nuggets of wisdom that the Holy Spirit helps us to uncover so that we can make application of it into our lives. What excitement we get when we’ve discovered something new that we didn’t understand before!

         There is nothing in the Word that will do anything short of giving us abundance in every area as we learn and grow in Him. It’s really just a matter of playing Hide-and-Seek. What truths have you discovered so far this year?

References

Johnson, B. (2013, August 1). God Hides Things to Be Found. Retrieved January 9, 2019, from http://bjm.org/god-hides-things-to-be-found

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