In His grip, yet free

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)
10 years ago, I met this amazing woman who was descended from missionaries and had been one herself. It was kind of an "Amy Carmichael" moment for me as a floundering but desperately seeking young Christian. Her son was in the hospital for a bone marrow transplant that would either cure him and give him extra years of life, or kill him slowly and painfully. Her father had just been released from captivity in Eastern Europe, minus a few fingers. As she readied herself for the long season to come, the marrow transplant process that is at least 100 days and often spans years, God gave her a song and words. Be still and know that I am God. And she was - one of the stillest, ever-praising women I'd ever met. Her faith was inspiring and I felt like when I worked with her son, there was a giant electrical cord connecting our two souls and her love and beauty and identity in Christ flowed my way like an electrified burst of power, consuming my soul and even threatening to surge and cut the power cord.



Amy blogged before there were blogs. She maintained a website chronicling her son's progress. And she signed every single letter to her friends, "In His grip". I asked her about it, and she quoted John 10:28 (my favorite eternal security verse). No one can pluck us from His hand. That's quite a grip. Jesus isn't even going to allow me to break that grip when I beg Him go test someone else, put your heavy hand on someone else. I can't learn anymore, and I am grief-stricken and wrung out.


In His grip, yet free. An eternal conundrum. A concept that has God following me around, gripping me despite my foray into sin, when my depression peaks and I just want to bleed dry, when I am weeping into my pillow and feel all alone. He is gripping me. Yet He moves those hands under me, too, when I am on the path He has appointed for me. Lets me walk, always in the palm of His hand, watches with joy and fulfillment as I satisfy His will.


I am "In His grip". You'll see that in my e-mails, letters. I am also free, like Maya Angelou's bird: A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips her wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky.


I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands
When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things right

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still
Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave you
When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave
I never leave your hands