This summer when we had an optional 'Desperate Prayer' time, one of guys who came was Matt Rieger. (I purposefully didn't make a big deal about it and I know the location and time was not conducive for the women to join in.) Matt is leading the team to Uppsala, Sweden with Tori Vance who attended XTrack this summer.
I will not soon forget crying out for an hour and half in the basement on the Chi O house with crazy Matt, Dusty, Tom Cruise.. er Rob, Lucas and I am pretty sure Zach. (If I missed someone or Zach really wasn't there I apologize.) We took part of the time to cry out for each other. I remember us all desperately calling out to God to miraculously move in Sweden.
These past few weeks I have been reminded of dependence as I have hoped to see my twins, Jack and Drew, learn to walk. (A shameless dad plug.) Robin and I want them to walk to free us up from having to hold their hands constantly. That little booger Drew was awake at like 3 am this morning and as I tried to quiet him he was grabbing my finger to walk him. They are not content unless we are walking with them holding one of their hands.
As I parent I know independence and self-sufficiency comes with maturity. (As I write that I am not so sure I want them to let go of my hand.) But there is a reverse phenomena with spiritual maturity. The more we grow the more we should realize we desperately need him. While I am trying to coax my sons to let go of my hand, God promises to hold our hand.
"For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." - Isaiah 41:13
"I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness." - Isaiah 42:6-7
"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand." - Psalm 73:23
Leading can be a lonely venture. We need the assurance that He is there. We need to know He is holding our hand and not letting go. Sometimes we need to do like Drew and reach out for our Father's hand in the middle of the night. How can we be shaken or afraid if He has taken hold of our hand?
I like that all three of these verses above use 'hold'. It's not some loose grip but a firm grasp. I like too that in the Is. 42 passage, we learn that He not only keeps us but as the 'spiritual Israel' the promise to us is to be a light to the Gentiles and to help free the captives in Uppsala, Sweden and all the other locations you lead your teams this year.