Text: Luke 12:4-7, John 3:16-17, 1 Peter 1:3-9
We took our kids to Disney World for spring break this year.
Since we believe ourselves to be the “go big, just once” type of Disney-goers, rather than the “go briefly and often” type, we booked seven days of park-hopping magic, determined to experience every inch of every park at least twice. Ultimate Disney satisfaction. And, as it turns out, exhaustion.
Disney World is a crowded place. With the spring break crowds added to the mix, we quickly discovered a natural human reflex we called the “Disney Grasp.” By hour six of day five, somewhere between Splash Mountain and Casey’s Corner, Oliver registered a polite complaint, “Mom, I don’t like the way you’re holding my hand. It’s just kind of straight and floppy—I need you to squeeze your fingers around mine.”
This would have been a darling request in any other setting, but his hand was sweaty, and my fingers were tired and a little stiff from five days straight of hand holding (punctuated, of course, by the thrill of waving freely in the breeze on a fun rollercoaster ride for three minutes every three hours). Oliver wanted me to squeeze with meaning, and at that moment, all I really wanted was to find a quiet place and not be touched or talked to for just a minute.
Of course, I complied. He didn’t want to hold my limp-fish hand and I wanted him to feel secure. I would continue to forget his preferred squeeze-level, however, and he would have to reach across his body and wrap my fingers back around his every hour or so for the rest of our trip. He knew my hand was tired, and I knew he wanted to be held tight, and so I thanked him for reminding me and readjusted my grip.
Parent-child relationships can be beautiful examples of how we relate with God. But when it comes to the realities of permanent and passing away, even the most enduring love of a parent cannot hold up. I love my son like crazy, and it is my job to keep him safe, but my hand eventually gives way. I get tired and I forget to hold him tight.
It’s not that way with God.
Because everything in this world is fragile, there is no real-life metaphor for holding tight to something that is actually secure. We hold out of fear, we grip out of anxiety or prevention, and we eventually lose our grip every time. But because the gospel of Jesus Christ is permanent, it is not subject to the same shortcomings of anything that is passing away.
Hear that. The gospel is not passing away.
God does not let go.
The very nature of the gospel is different than anything else around us. Scripture calls our gospel inheritance “a living hope.” Not a dying hope. The apostle Peter describes it as, “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” And the hope of the not-passing-away gospel is literally being “guarded” by God Himself (1 Peter 1:3–5).
Guarded in heaven by God’s own power. No wonder He tells us not to fear. No wonder He promises we can stake our lives on His Truth. This is why God told Abram, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” It’s why the angel of the Lord said to Mary, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10, emphasis mine).
The gospel is good news. It is not scary news.
The gospel calls us to hold tight. But it also reminds us that we are already being held.
The above is an excerpt from Chapter 9 of the book She Reads Truth: Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That’s Passing Away, written by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams. Find She Reads Truth, the book, on Amazon or anywhere books are sold.