October 1, 2021

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

When I was in high school, our football team was pretty good. I was a wide-eyed, scrawny sophomore, and we were heading to our 4th state championship in a row. It was game day. The team was ready in the underbelly of the stadium and the air was thick with excitement and anticipation.  The game plan was ready, fans were in the stands, and our helmets were on. Then, like a charging stampede, the first of the team leaders busted through the red, black, and white banner and we were sprinting across a crimson and cream field in unison towards our sideline.

It was an amazing and exciting moment. The fight song was blaring, friends and family were screaming, and the energy was palpable, but… after a few steps, I knew something was wrong… I felt myself off balance. My helmet felt heavy, and I was tipping forward. I could not keep my feet under me. And that’s when I realized I was about to fall in front of thousands of people! Thankfully, out of nowhere, a hand reached out and grabbed the back of my jersey and brought me back to center. An upperclassman had seen what was happening. He interceded to keep me from tumbling and potentially causing a pile up of fallen players. I was truly thankful.

God does the same for us. As we’re falling and think there’s no hope in sight, a hand reaches out for us. Sometimes that hand comes in the form of a friend, the church, or even a perfect stranger. Other times, that helping hand grabs us as we pray, study scripture, and worship. God works to keep us from stumbling. God is active in our lives in so many ways.  God wants us to live a life full of joy and God knows there are many obstacles along our path that will cause us to stumble. Thankfully, God is there to strengthen us and “Uphold us with his righteous right hand.”

– Doug McAbee, St. Luke’s Director of Visual Media