PRINCIPLE: “When two hands are better than one, use one.”
It was known for its dinosaur footprints. That’s what drew us to it. While visiting our son and family in Leander Texas, we decided to go with them and walk the SanGabriel river bed. It was basically dry due to the prolonged drought. We had a great time and relished the opportunity to explore the footprints and admire the handiwork of God in nature all around us.
As we climbed down beneath the bridge where we could enter the riverbed, it was obvious the first few steps into the bed were a little tricky. There was some water flowing over the rocks right by the shore – certainly shallow yet deep enough to soak one’s shoes if not careful. The only pathway into the dry bed was a few damp and unsteady large stones; we had to step carefully onto those slippery stones or risk getting our shoes and feet soaked.
Being the chivalrous husband I am, I stood on the shore and offered my hand to my wife; she held it as she gingerly walked across the stones – and made it safely. As I prepared to walk on the stones, she offered me her hand to steady me; but being the proud husband I am, I refused – indicating I’d be fine. You guessed it – the second stone wobbled, my foot slipped, and while I stayed upright my shoe got wet. Pride often does go before the fall!
All this reminded me of how important it is to hang on to our Father’s hand as we walk thought life and negotiate the slippery places. As I was pondering this for a possible Pikkup note I was reading the book “Soul Unfinished” by Robert Atwell. He wrote of this same thought. “Francis de Sales, writing in the sixteenth century, links contentment to the providential care of God. He sees it as God’s supreme gift. He compares our relationship with God to that of a child going out for a walk. He pictures a child strolling along a country lane, hanging on to his or her parent with one hand, while happily picking blackberries and wild strawberries with the other. And that is how it should be, says Francis. God wants us to delight in the world. But, he warns, we should be careful not to get distracted or greedy, and attempt to accumulate too many things on our journey through life. If we let go of God’s hand in order to pick more and more strawberries we will end up flat on our face…” “When two hands are better than one, use one.”
How tempting it is to get more out of life by our own efforts. We let go of God’s hand so we can reach and grab for more. But “When two hands are better than one, use one.” Ponder the words of Scripture: (Ps. 63:8) “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Ps. 37:23-24 NLT) “The Lord directs the steps of the godly He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” (Ps. 63:8) “I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.” (Ps. 139:9-10) “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (John 10:28-29) “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” “When two hands are better than one, use one.”
Where are you tempted to let pride, or the desire for more berries, lead you to let go of your Father’s hand? Remember: “When two hands are better than one, use one.”