Everybody has to fight, in his own way and in his own time.”
–Elmer Kelton (After the Bugles)
“Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses.”
–1 Timothy 6:12 (NLT)
I reckon what I need most in this new year is that the hand of the Lord is guiding and keeping me. Every year has its toils, sufferings, and sorrows, and most likely 2018 will not be any different. Some affect us directly, some hit us right square in the face, but no matter what we need to hold on to the hand of the Lord and put our trust in Him.
I wasn’t sure if I would post the whole first verse and chorus of this song, but looking at the words, I thought that they would be a good way to start off the new year. Grand old song by Albert Brumley.
“As I travel through this pilgrim land
There is a friend who walks with me
Leads me safely through the sinking sand
It is the Christ at Calvary
This would be my prayer, dear Lord, each day
You help me do the best I can
For I need Thy light to guide me day and night
Blessed Jesus, hold my hand.
Jesus, hold my hand
For I need Thee every hour
Through this pilgrim land
Protect me by Thy power
Hear my feeble plea
O Lord, look down on me
When I kneel in prayer
I hope to meet You there
Blessed Jesus, hold my hand.”
If there’s one thing that Christians need to get deep into their soul is that fact that we are just “pilgrims” walking through this land and life. Far too many Christians (if you can really call them that) have taken up permanent residence on this earth.
We have no idea of tomorrow. Oh sure, we make plans and most of the time we take for granted that those plans will come to pass. However, I am reminded of the words of James, where he writes,
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.’ You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'”
–James 4:13-15 (HCSB)
Life and breath is actually in the will of the Lord. Do not presume otherwise, for that is arrogance, with which James finishes chapter 4. I like the words of Mosie Lister’s song that should be part of our walk with the Lord in 2018, “Known Only to Him.”
“Hold my hand all the way
Every hour, every day
Come here to the great unknown
Take my hand, let me stand
Where no one stands alone.”
Don’t for a minute think you are autonomous. In the days and months ahead you don’t know what is out there. It is part of the “great unknown.” Therefore, “every hour, every day” we must hang on to the hand of the Lord.
Now I know that this Echo is a little longer, but there is one more song I want to bring up here. After all, these are the first days of the year, and a time when we should seriously think of the steps that are before us. The words from the next song, written by Thomas A. Dorsey (not to be confused with the orchestra leader) show the walk of life. It is not a “tip-toe through the tulips” type of song, but one that faces the reality of life and the need for Christ to walk with us, day-by-day. This was my Grandma Adkisson’s favorite song.
“Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on, let me stand
I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m lone
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.”
There is that thought again: “lead me home.” This world is not, cannot, become our home. The first part of James 4, talks about the person who becomes friendly with the world. James clearly writes that this person become the enemy of God.
I would urge you, maybe sometime this week, to look up all the verses to each of this songs. Meditate on them along with the Scriptures and realize that to make it through this life, then let the Lord grab you by the hand. Remember, if trials come, Jesus is holding your hand.