One day walking home from school with my sister, I had an apple in my hand. Joann asked for a bite, and I said, “No.” Suddenly, she snatched the apple out of my hand and threw it in the street, where it was promptly ran over by a car. She felt that if she could not have any of it, then I would not have it, either. I remember being so mad that I was not quick enough to keep her from snatching the apple from me. I was never good at keeping people from grabbing things out of my hands, so nothing was safe in my hands.
But, there are hands in which people are safe: the hand of the Father in Heaven. John 10:28-30 states, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from my Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.” What does it mean to be safe in the the Father’s hand, in the context in which Jesus was speaking?
It does not mean that no hurt, harm, or danger will befall people who believe in the Father and the Son. It does not mean that believers will not experience hardships and bad times in their lives. What it means is that once we have believed in Christ Jesus and in the Father who sent him, and we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and eternal life, that Satan cannot take away our everlasting promise. He simply is not strong enough to take us out of God’s hand. God’s hand is just too powerful for Satan to defeat Him. Job 12:10 reminds us that “the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being,” and Psalm 89:13 tells us that God’s hand is mighty, and that His right hand is exalted.
When I found myself on a downtown street in my hometown with a very angry man’s hands squeezing the life out of me, I thought I would die right then and there. But as hard as Satan tried to end my life, he was not successful. As I felt my spirit descending into a dark hole, I called out to God, “Lord, don’t let me die like a dog in the street.” He heard me, and immediately my eyes opened and I looked that agent of Satan in the eyes, and said, “Go ahead and kill me. I would rather be dead than live with you.” He released me as he said,” I will not give you the satisfaction of dying.” I packed my things and left that next morning, sneaking out while he slept. Years later he told me that he knew I was going to Heaven and he decided that I was going to stay in Hell with him. What he did not understand was that Satan cannot snatch God’s people out of His hands.
As a child I remember being in church and singing the song, “He’s got the whole world in His hands,” and, two of the stanzas said, He’s got the little bitty babies in His hands, and He’s got you and me, sister in His hands. Even as a child, it brought me peace to visualize hands big enough to hold all of us in the world. I knew that I was in a safe place in His hands, for who is more powerful than the One who made the stars and the moon, the oceans and all the beautiful creatures within their depths, and the glorious mountains and the beauty of the trees. His hands are still the only safe place to be!
Dear Heavenly Father, Abba,
Hallelujah! Your hands are still the most powerful place to be! I am amazed at how you protect, provide, and preserve us from day to day. I surrender to you today, knowing that the promise of eternal life is as real today. Keep the people challenged by Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey in your safe hands. Holy Spirit, comfort those who have lost their loved ones. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.