When our kids were itty-bitty my husband Brad and I used to hold little hands a lot.
Sometimes it was to protect them from danger, like if we were crossing a street.
Sometimes it was to calm fears or to help them to feel secure.
Sometimes it was because we were on a mission to get through or to a place quickly
Other times it was for the simple pleasure of strolling, skipping, and smiling together.
Now that they’re older, my kids aren’t so keen on holding hands with mom and dad anymore. Sigh. There’s still the occasional watching-a-movie-on-the-couch-at-home handhold, but it’s a rarity. And I miss it.
I love locking fingers with my people. There’s a beauty and intimacy to it. A tangible connection that binds our skin and braids our souls.
I love walking with them, hearing their hearts, talking through tight spots, giving advice, laughing and enjoying their company.
Similarly, our heavenly Father finds pleasure when you and I walk with Him. When we take His hand and share our time, trials, treasures, and thoughts. The prophet Micah spoke to this. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
This is a simple, yet profound summary of God’s desire for us. A revealing of His longing for you and me to live in constant communion with Him. To lace our fingers with His in good, bad, scary, and sad times. Whether the sun is high in the sky or thunder rumbles low in our hearts.
Let’s break that verse down a bit.
In order to act justly I have to behave in a way that God considers just – not the ways that the world considers just. My righteousness (my salvation) was made complete through the sacrifice of Jesus, but my willingness to walk in His righteousness is a choice I have to make each day. I get to choose whether I will do things my way or yield to the Holy Spirit within me and move as He leads. When I pray and invite the Lord into my day, it’s like reaching for His hand and asking God to lead me in His ways.
Mercy is God’s kindness to NOT punish our sins as we deserve. It is His restraint from condemning His children (all who believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord.) If it weren’t for the mercy of God all hope would be crushed! Instead, hope is vibrant in grace because of Jesus. We can live responsively to His mercy (love mercy) by being grateful women … women who thank God each morning for a clean slate. We love mercy when we forgive others as we have been forgiven. When we do not condemn others as we might think they deserve. Forgiveness and mercy go hand in hand.
WALK HUMBLY WITH GOD
I love how the Bible describes the relationship between God and Enoch.
“Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” (Genesis 5:24) What in the world? I don’t know what set Enoch’s relationship with God apart so much that God just had to snatch him from earth, but my glory – I want me some of that! Don’t you?
And look what was written about Enoch’s arc-building great grandson, Noah. “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.” (Genesis 6:9)
They walked faithfully with God.
My prayer today is that God would consider me a woman who walks faithfully with Him.
I don’t want to be the girl who only reaches for His hand when the road is bumpy, when my checkbook is empty, or when my feet are stumbly. And I don’t want to be like the teenager who is embarrassed by her dad and only gives him attention in private or on occasion. I want to live with the faith of a child who acts justly, loves mercy, and daily takes the hand of her Father to face each moment, mountain, and memory right by His side.
Please teach me to walk faithfully with You. Show me what it looks like to act justly. Convict me when I don’t. Help me to love mercy and to give it as freely as I take it. I want to hold Your hand.
In Jesus’ Name, amen
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE
Read Colossians 3:1-17 to see some practical ways you can live out Micah 6:8. Then prayerfully consider which of the verses challenge you the most today. How should this inform your believing and behaving? Tell me about it here.
Have a beautiful, grace-filled day, friend!
PS. Check out the announcement below!! This study will be EPIC! So excited!
If you want to read the Bible, but don’t know where to start, this is for you! Studying the Bible is important to help you know and trust God more. It equips you with His power, presence, perspective and peace. It informs your emotions, increases courage, decreases doubt, and bolsters believing.
Don’t let thoughts like, “I don’t know what to read,” “I don’t understand what I’m reading,” or “I just don’t have the time” keep you from going after what you truly know your heart and soul needs.
JOIN ME for an inductive online Bible study that can be done in the comfort of your home and in a time-frame that fits with your personal schedule. My next Psalm Adventure is a 5-week study that begins on March 1, 2020.
Iowa (Fort Dodge) / Feb 29 / Conference / MORE INFO
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Need more help acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God? Hang out with Gwen and friends! Listen to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast as you commute to work, go on walks, exercise, run errands, eat guacamole or travel. Podcasts are also perfect to listen to as you do household chores! (Laundry anyone?)
Each GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast episode is filled with fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations that will help you know and trust God more.
These discussions encourage you in meaningful ways to live out and lean on the GRACE of Jesus in the midst of cluttered, messy days. CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes, or visit GwenSmith.net/Graceologie for more information.