Clinging to God

A few weeks ago, a friend and I got to talking about the image that best characterizes our relationship with God. For me it was one of my arms wrapped around God and holding on for dear life, even as He in turn holds onto me.

I think this image is a result of several things. For one, I heard a story years ago about a dad with two disobedient children. He took the first by the hand and explained how the child’s actions earned him a spanking. But instead of submitting, this little one pulled against his daddy’s hold. As a result, the spanking was long and much more hurtful—the further the child strained from his father, the more sweeping and powerful the stroke of the paddle.

The father approached the second disobedient child, but this little one threw his arms around his father’s knees, sobbing out his sorrow for what he’d done. The Dad, faithful to his word, still spanked the little guy, but his strokes were short and the episode was over quickly.

When I heard that story, I knew I wanted to be that second child.

But here’s another factor that has given me this mental picture of me holding tight to God. Once when I was reading in the book of Deuteronomy, I saw this verse: “You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him” (23:4).

The verse struck me so forcefully, I presented a staff devotion about what it means to cling to God. I tried to think of what in my world clings. One thing stood out above the rest—plastic wrap, the kind used to cover glass bowls to keep food fresh.

In my devotion I did a comparison. Wax paper might take the shape of a bowl as long as someone exerts pressure on it, but when left to itself it falls away. Aluminum foil gives the appearance of adhering, often even when it has been removed from the bowl. Plastic wrap, on the other hand, clings to the glass even when nothing is holding it in place, even when the bowl goes upside down.

This image had such a powerful effect on me, I turned the devotion into an object lesson for my Bible class.

Is it any wonder I see my relationship with God the way I do? 😉

Imagine how delighted I was a few days after the discussion with my friend, when I found Psalm 63:8 – “My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.”

This one was especially cool because it contains both parts—me clinging to God and God holding me up. What a safe place to be.

Published in: on July 12, 2010 at 2:47 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 Comments

  1. What an excellent illustration! I will have to share this with several of my friends!

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  2. Great illustration.

    I really never thought about this before—never pictured myself clinging to God at all. But thinking about it now, I’d have to say I’m definitely the wax paper model.

    I will cling, because God will make me cling. My arms are wrapped around God, because he’s holding me in place.

    He has promised to preserve me. He is working in me. My grip is weak, but he is strong and determined to save me.

    I want to be the second child for sure. I want to repent quickly. I want to obey. I don’t run from God’s spankings, I don’t think. I don’t despise his discipline. I thank him for his discipline. There is no question that I’m clinging. But I love God because he first loved me, I choose God because he first chose me, and I cling to God because he first clung to me.

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  3. I learned what it meant to cling to God when my husband was laidoff and everything but our children and our health was taken from us. During that time I felt as though I was free falling and the only thing I could cling to was God. And cling to him I did, with a desperate grip.

    I think it took God taking everything else away for me to realize how easy it was for me to cling to other things (money, a home, stability), but they are all temporal. He is the only rock and fortress that won’t crumble or fade away.

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