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Thornwell September Devotional – Put the Sharpies Down

My youngest son is 5 years old and just started Kindergarten. Out of the two boys, he is the independent one. He is very good at making his own games, pretend scenarios, and toothpaste-hand soap-air freshener “experiments.” He will sometimes ask permission to play outside in the backyard by himself or even shoo me out of his room if I interrupt when he is trying to play with his stuffies.

Yet, if I am walking somewhere with him and his brother, he is the one that instinctively holds my hand when I lower it to my side. It happens every time – he doesn’t even look. I love it and I will miss it greatly when he is older.

Psalm 37, verse 23-24 says this:

A man’s steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his way.

Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, because the Lord holds his hand.

David’s use of words here is so clever. The Hebrew word for ‘man’ in this verse in typically used in reference to strong, capable men. In modern usage, it carries an air of machismo. These are the type of guys who (seemingly) don’t need any help, and probably struggle asking for it. As far as holding hands – let’s be real, these guys probably shun most non-romantic physical affection.

David takes this idea of manhood and recasts it in the light of a relationship with God. He provides us with a picture of a father, walking proudly with a son who is still prone to screw ups – but is safe because the Father is right there, holding his hand.

I won’t always hold my son’s hand. As he grows older, my hand will no longer be needed. But this isn’t the case with our God. Even the manliest of men are mere children to Him. The most capable among us are just toddlers scribbling with sharpies on the walls, unless the Father intervenes and shows us a better way.

We serve our children well at Thornwell when we are reminding ourselves that we are children too, dependent and adored by our Father.

For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.” – Romans 8:14-17

Contributing Writer,

Adam Hafenbridle, Thornwell Ministry and Recreation Coordinator

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