A Matter of Faith: Take my hand


By Allyn Schuyler

Special to The PREVIEW

When I was in elementary school, I read a story in a children’s publication while in a doctor’s waiting room. People my age will remember this colorful little magazine because they were all over any public place where children had to sit still.

To the best of my memory, the story was about a little boy who had been hit by a car. He languished in a hospital in critical condition and heard the salvation story from a visitor. Before he went to sleep that night, he asked the nurse to prop his forearm up with pillows so if Jesus passed by his bed, he would not be overlooked.

As you may have guessed, the boy went to heaven that night. My little girl’s heart and mind were severely affected by this story. Death, and all its seriousness, shook me to my core. I never forgot the impact this story had on me and can still picture the small, limp wrist in the sweet illustration.

Fast forward years later as I left a swimming pool with my precious 4-year-old boy. Preoccupied with looking around, he distractedly stepped off the edge into the deep end and down he went. I was right beside him when it happened and watched him bob right back up like a cork. I reached down and grabbed his little upstretched hand and pulled him, wide-eyed and sputtering, back to safety.

Why I thought of these two recollections recently, I cannot say. But as I reflected on these memories and my life, I saw a connection with raised hands.

When I worship, I often find my hands extended toward the sky. In this posture, I sense the Light of Heaven shining on my face and I focus on my closeness to God. I reach out, as if any moment He might clasp my hands and draw me up.

Most of the time my hands are lifted up in praise, but there have also been times I reached out to the Lord in anguish.

In my long, full and blessed life, I have experienced many trials. Difficulties I felt it impossible to recover from. Suffering where I was drowning in despair. Distress so desperate I couldn’t even find the words to pray.

But, while often I could not remember the appropriate scripture, or found myself unable to share my pain with my family or closest friends, I did remember to reach out to Jesus. And never once did He pass me by. Never once did He not snatch me back to safety. Never once did He fail to take my hand and draw me nearer to Him — again.

Such love. Such a Lord. Such a Savior.

Psalm 63:4: “So I will bless You as long as I live;

“I will lift up my hands in Your name.”