“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:
Dude, I did the worm, when I read this. It’s so full of awesome!
I was thought a while ago that if you are not in “church” the day of the rapture, you will be left behind. LOL. I know this was a stunt to promote attendance at church. There is no way, my Lord will leave me behind because of a missed day of church. I am His. As if, I’m sealed by the Holy Spirit His. I have a seal that says, “Born Again, property of Jesus Christ”
With that said, the enemy of our souls would like us to think that when we do mess up, God loves us any less. Ben, I may love you less when I hear you are rocking Android (ha!), but God will still love you even so. 🙂
Thanks for this wickedly awesome reminder man!
Ha! Did the worm… LOL
Yeah it’s pretty freakin awesome, and I love how he loves us. It’s unfathomable, and I don’t understand it but I love it.
That fear for me is like accountability . The fear of messing up a lot of times keeps me from actually messing up. I am so thankful that I serve a God that loves me through my mess ups and will not ever forsake me!
Great thoughts Ben!
Fear is such a difficult word to accept, and I hate even using it in my vocabulary but there’s really no other word to describe that feeling. When I can’t escape that word, I remember what good ‘ole Paul said to Timmy in 2 Timothy 1:7 🙂
We are SO BLESSED! Thanks for the reminder, because I think we need to hear those words once in a while.
Blessed beyond measure.
I remember thinking about it once in terms of my children. My children, because they are born of my wife and I, will always be our children. No matter what they do or say, they will always be our children–simply because it is a biological fact.
In the same way, we are born again, children of God. I’m pretty sure it works the same way…. 🙂
Great thoughts, Ben!
And Ben, +1 for the Neverending Story reference. Bravo, my friend.
Weirdest thing how stone guy popped in my head for the visual, lol
Yeah I definitely think about the whole child/parent dynamic when it comes to His love.
Crazy thought though – Isn’t it crazy that not everybody is built like that? Thinking about the few parents who want nothing to do with their children. Makes me sad.
Great visual son, and just remember fear can also be a very healthy part of our walk with God. Prov 9:10
Even us old folks who have walked with the Lord a very looooong time can face that same feeling when we mess up. We say the wrong thing, make bad choices, etc – but like you said, nothing can separate us from HIS love! Thank you Jesus! He holds on to us so tight when satan trys to yank us away.
Love this verse Mom, thanks for mentioning it.
>>You, can’t snatch you out of God’s hand.
AMEN!! Yes! Preach it, brother, preach it! Lay the Truth of our covenant with God through Jesus onto the hearts of men and watch them collapse like deflated zeppelins!
Ben, this is awesome! Great post, seriously! Perfect.
Deflated Zeppelins, yes! Imagery = profound impact upon our understanding of His love.
That fear can completely mess up everything in our relationship with God. Instead of enjoying Him and His grace, we look back at our missteps and forget to dance in the present.
Hanging on to the past instead of “dancing” in the present, love this phrase.
One of my all time favorite movies. I still remember the day that I finally found out the girl’s name that he screams out at the end. “MOONCHILD!!”
Love this Ben. So good!
SERIOUS?! I guess I’ve never googled what she says, as Google wasn’t around for the first 15 years after the movie came out but I’ve always wondered…
Dude, solid stuff. Real solid. Always good to be reminded of the awesomeness of The NeverEnding Story. Fear of messing up is a constant for me. Specifically when it relates to starting a business. What if I fail? What if we go broke? What if this wasn’t what God wanted? What if…? Probably a good reason I’ve added too many gray hairs this last year.
Ah, the damned “What If’s.” I hate those. My biggest problem too, is that I try and tackle those one by one, and sometimes forget ultimately who’s “what if’s” they really are, and who I need to relinquish them to. Nah’m sayin’?
What a great question to start your Monday off. It is pretty sobering to hear the words of Jesus,
“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.”
His words bring a sense of, “WOW, I am loved! It has absolutely nothing to do with what I have done, but rather it is about who He is! There is something about the words of a loving Dad that bring a sense of security to you and actually allow you to enlarge your heart towards Him even more. Thanks again Ben for the reminder of His love for us!
Absolutely. One thing that kind of struck me in your sentence “words of a loving Dad,” is that many of us have never even had those words growing up, yet they can still receive this awesome, unconditional love from our Heavenly Father and experience the same joy.
Dude, the Neverending Story was the movie of my childhood. Can’t tell you how many times I watched that VHS tape.
What a great illustration of God’s love.
“You cannot snatch you out of God’s hands.” Powerful stuff.
I think my fear of messing up makes me try to push away from God when I do fail.
Seriously, I watched this movie on vhs 325 times.
Pushing away from God is not a deliberate choice for me, although I do tend to get out of the habit of quiet time and bible-reading, which is kind of the same thing.