If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Psalm 139:9-10 NIV)

Growing up is hard, isn't it! In fact there are still parts of it on which I am working. Much of growing up is about learning — not necessarily being "instructed" by someone, but sometimes learning from the mistakes we make along the way.

I like the quotes from some kids that were asked what were the most important things they had learned so far in their lives:

When your dad is mad and asks you, "Do I look stupid?" don't answer him. (Heather)

Never tell your mom her diet's not working. (Michael)

Don't pick on your sister when she's holding a baseball bat. (Joel)

When you get a bad grade in school, show it to your mom when she's on the phone. (Alyesha)

Never try to baptize a cat. (Laura)

Never spit when on a roller coaster. (Scott)

Never dare your little brother to paint the family car. (Phillip)

Forget the cake; go for the icing. (Cynthia)

Remember, you're never too old to hold your father's hand. (Molly)

I had to chuckle at most of the answers when I read this list. However, I thought the last quote was especially insightful and applied to other areas of our life as well: "Remember, you're never too old to hold your father's hand."

As we "grow up," we also often grow independent — independent of our parents and also independent of God. We like to think of ourselves as being able to take care of all of our own problems. This independence often reaches into all areas of our lives, even the spiritual. We lose contact with God, our heavenly Father, because we don't feel we need him. We think we can make it through life by ourselves and deal with all that the world dishes out.

At some point, however, we are going to come up against some challenges that will remind us that we just can't deal with everything by ourselves. We need support and encouragement. We need someone to hold on to us when it seems that our world is falling apart.

We need our Heavenly Father.
When this happens in our lives, we are reminded of how much we need our Heavenly Father. We need to remember that we are never too old to hold our Father's hand! In fact, we need to hold on to our Father's hand even when things are not out of our control.

There is an old hymn that talks about holding on to God's hand. The chorus has the following lines:

Hold to His hand, to God's unchanging hand.

Hold to His hand, to God's unchanging hand.

Place your trust in things eternal,

Hold to God's unchanging hand. (Hold to God's Unchanging Hand by F.L. Eiland)

As Job was reminded, "If you direct your heart rightly, you will stretch out your hands toward him" (Job 11:13 NRS). Whether it's prayer or some other crying out to God, we do need to reach out for "God's unchanging hand." Sometimes, I have to work at remembering that, how about you?