Who's Holding Who?
If you have a two year old, or remember having one, you know your life is a roller-coaster of emotions. My youngest son Aaron, can melt my heart with his affection and in an instant leave me perplexed as he rages on the floor. Yet, as a father, it is in these little moments that God teaches me a lesson about Himself and His love.
Our house is on full lockdown and if you know two year olds you're tracking with me. Often Aaron will make his way to the gate looking for an opportunity to get my attention and make an escape from 'Alcatraz.' He stands there at the gate, arms outstretched and says, "Daddy, hold you? Daddy hold you?" His delivery is flawless. His words said in the right tone accompanied by the right body language must only be repeated a few times before I pick him up.
As I stood there holding him I thought to myself "now who's holding who here little buddy?" Surely his arms are wrapped around me but I am supporting him in entirely. I am holding him, clearly. God's good gifts are not always found in the big things of life but the little profound truths that illustrate His love.
Are we much different than my son? We know we are called to hold onto Christ and to 'wrap our arms around him' but we must never forget it is He who is holding onto us entirely. From beginning to end salvation is a work of Christ, by Christ, and unto Christ.
How then do we let Christ hold us and how do we embrace him? Let me answer your question first with a question: What did my son Aaron have to do in order for me to turn my attention to him and lift him into my arms? First, he had to recognize he needed me to help him. He would never get out without my help. Second, he needed to call out to me. Third, he needed to let me do all the work. Fourth, his embrace as I lifted him showed that he really trusted me.
Ok I am going to say something radical for our current culture. Brace yourself, here it is: You and I are sinners. Christ has come to lift up and save sinners. Any view of Him that doesn't include that is not the Jesus of the Bible, be assured of that. We can't lift ourselves up, we can't find our way, and we've all fallen short of God's perfection (Rm. 3:23). This means shouldn't 'want' Jesus' help, you NEED His help. Not only this, but I I know that I am powerless to save myself by my own effort. I must call out to Him knowing His life is my only hope. Trusting in His perfect life and sacrifice is the only way to find true forgiveness. This cannot be a robotic exercise or it will never transform you. Just as I sense my son's embrace as I lift him so God knows the heart-felt embrace of a child who has been born-again by The Spirit (Jn. 3). We hold onto Him, yes, all the while He is the one who hold us entirely.
Will you let Christ hold you?
John 10: 27-30 says, "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. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”