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His Hand is Stretched Out Still

What we think about God is the most important thing about us. In other words, our perspective on the nature and character of God and our corresponding “low” (I value little) or “high” (I value much) view of the Bible is the determining factor in our lives. God’s Word says, “as a man thinks, so is he. (Prov 23:7)”

With all this in mind, can I suggest the greatest thought in all of man’s lost, lonely, and belabored thinking is this: God loves me and nothing I do can make Him love me any less. His good hand is always stretched out.

How you think about God determines everything. For instance, I met David in a Walmart parking lot yesterday. He is a 60-ish man, from Chicago, with shoulder-length dyed-red hair and no front teeth. Our paths crossed as he emerged from a Honda Civic that had seen better days. “A handyman,” he told me, as he unsuccessfully searched for two minutes to find a business card. A brief rolling dialogue between us ensued during which his reply to my asking about family brought forth a curtly spoken fact that “he would never think about bringing kids into this ugly, (expletive) world.” My response was brief: I have five kids.

If you are one who sees nothing positive in the world, nothing beautiful or worth living for, nothing noble or virtuous or with purpose nor a God behind it all then yes, you might think and believe what David does. In this thought I am reminded of Is 5:12: “for they do not regard the work of the Lord, nor consider the operation of His hands.”

So, if our God-view determines everything, where does our God-view come from? As one leader says, “There’s the God we want and there’s the God who is.” With no owner’s guide, traveler’s map, or True North, we are truly on our own to pick and choose and then piece together whatever we desire. Like Thomas Jefferson, we create our own cut-up Bible by scissoring out all the things not liked or understood.

As for me, I have no trouble believing I’m lost. Without divine help, I’m doomed. Without His love, hopeless. Without holy mercy, guilty. Without God’s cleansing wash, forever polluted. Without His provision, endlessly bankrupt. Without His protection, terrified. Without His design, purposeless.

How we think is paramount. My best hope is to align myself with God’s thoughts. His redeeming love—forever unwavering, always pursuing, with arms open wide—is the ONE THOUGHT OF ALL to hold.

Now let me sing to my Well-Beloved (Is 5:10) -- Chris

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