“They look like big, good, strong hands. Don’t they? I always thought that’s what they were. My little friends. The little man with his racing snail, the Nighthob, even the stupid bat. I couldn’t hold on to them. The nothing pulled them right out of my hands. I failed.”
~ Stone Eater, The NeverEnding Story
I’m not exactly sure why this image of the stone dude popped in my head, but I think it is because at first glance you would think that there is no way anything could break free of his grasp should he get a hold of it. However, we later find that an unseen force called “The Nothing” was able to break free of him, or “snatch,” his most prized possessions (his friends) and it completely tears him apart. This is completely random, but this is the exact visual I got when the following verse came up during Sunday’s Transit service:
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
I absolutely love the “…no one can snatch them out of my hand.” part. This means nobody. Nothing. Nadie.
This means you.
You, can’t snatch you out of God’s hand. Let me break this down for you even further:
There is absolutely nothing you can do that will cause God to stop loving you. There is no unseen force, no “The Nothings,” no “larger than any other sin” sin, or anything like that. For crying out loud he gave up his only son so that you may have eternal life! We shouldn’t have to deal with the fear of losing His love, yet we do it anyways.
I’ve learned this, but I will admit that at times I reflect on my past sins and feel guilty and unworthy of His love. I do this less now than say 4 years ago, but I still do it. I don’t necessarily hate it because it forces me to remember what I need to do (ask for forgiveness), and what I don’t need to do (earn His love), and then I get out of that funk.
I asked this question to my boys, and would love to hear how y’all respond: