I don’t think it’s uncommon for someone to feel that they can’t live up to all they perceive God expects of them. For multiple reasons, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. But all too often, we don’t balance that with the strength we receive from all of God’s promises. Countless promises are there which reassure us of God’s love, strength and presence.
One pastor shared this story with his congregation. “When my son was small, we often walked together out through the fields and neighboring pasture behind the parsonage. At first the little fellow would hold onto my little finger, but he found that when he stepped into a hoof print or stumbled over something, his grip would fail and down he’d go in the dust or snow. Not giving it much thought, my mind on other matters, I’d stop and he’d get up, brush himself off, and grab my little finger again, gripping a little harder this time.
Needless to say, this occurred frequently until one day as he was brushing himself off, he looked at me and said, “Daddy, I think if you would hold my hand, I wouldn’t fall.”
The pastor reflected, “You know, he still stumbled many times after that, but he never hit the ground. Now as you walk with God, don’t try to hold on to God, let God hold on to you. You may stumble but God will never let you fall.” (Illustrations Unlimited, p. 244)
The much-beloved hymn “Standing on the Promises” was written by a Methodist Pastor late in the 19th century. It reminds us that God’s promises do not fail even in times of doubt and fear. The hymn invites us to stand on God’s promises, not creep on them as if the lightness of our step will ensure that the promises don’t fail. Stand on them. Depend on them. Live by them.
Our scripture will be Matthew 28:16-20 â€“ a scripture with a commandment and a promise. Our attention is often on the commandment, but I invite you to prepare for worship by focusing on the promise. “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Look forward to seeing you in worship.