Being Held In There: When Jesus Chooses to Touch, Grab & Hold Us!

Jan 16, 2024 | Blog, Child Loss, Comfort, Faith, Grief, Healing, Hurting, Joy, Loss, Loss Of Child, Overwhelm, Pain, Strength

Those who have lost loved ones were right when they told me that emotions would ambush me like a wave.

One minute, I can feel joy. A minute later, I’m hit by a wave of intense sadness.

On January 13th, I wrote in my journal, “I feel like waves were crashing down on me. Trying to stand and endure every emotional wave is brutal.

It feels like I keep getting knocked off my feet and submerged under the water, struggling to get air into my lungs.”

As I wrote, God brought the scene of Peter in the boat to mind.

Opening my Bible to Matthew, I began reading the familiar story in chapter 14.

Walking on the Water

22 Immediately, he made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side while he dismissed the crowds.

23 After dismissing the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Well into the night, he was there alone.

The phrase, well into the night, stood out to me. The disciples were alone on the water all night. I am sure they were wondering what Jesus was doing, knowing that they were out there.

 

24 Meanwhile, the boat was already some distance from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them.

Why did he send them out so far?

How would he get to them?

I was feeling the same kind of wondering, like being alone at sea, battered by waves, and everything was against me.

 

25 Jesus came toward them, walking on the sea very early in the morning.

26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear.

27 Immediately, Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

 

The disciples endured the entire night on the sea, discouraged, and I bet they were wondering why they couldn’t have stayed on land a little longer.

I think they were so wrapped up in their fear and possibly filled with anger or resentment at being put in this predicament that when Jesus did come, they didn’t even recognize him.

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.”

29 He said, “Come.” And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus.

Still not believing, even after hearing his voice, they give Jesus a stipulation, a requirement to gain their trust.

I hear my voice in Peter’s. 

“Lord, IF it’s you, give ME a supernatural ability.”

Before Annie’s passing, I’ve always read this story as regarding my faith. For God to work in me, I must take that first step toward him and trust that He will give me the strength.

30 But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Reading verse 30, I began to see even more similarities with Peter. 

My grief makes me feel like I’m sinking, too. Though I have never experienced a literal drowning, I’ve read that the person who is drowning is in no position to fight his way back up to the surface.

Many days, I’m too tired to fight my way back up, and I also cry out to the Lord for strength.

Then, verse 31 opened up a different part of the story that I have read many times but overlooked.

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

In response to Peter’s cry for help, Jesus doesn’t just speak the words and have Peter return to the boat dry and warm.

Jesus immediately and intimately rescues Peter, reaching out his hand and grabbing Peter’s hand.

Jesus chooses to touch him! Grab him! Hold him!

Immediately, I felt the hand of God reaching down to me, touching, grabbing, and holding me!

Instead of seeing Peter’s lack of faith and doubt, I saw a God who never took His eyes off Peter. 

It was Peter who took his eyes off Jesus and only saw the overwhelming nature of his circumstances.

If you’ve been reading my writing, you know I have never understood why people say, “Hang in there.”

It may seem like we are hanging on at times, but hanging means that we are trying to hold on with our strength, which will inevitably end, and we will let go and fall.

It also implies that we look down and around at all the circumstances that weaken and terrify us. 

Hanging in there is taking our eyes off the God who is intimately reaching out his hand and HOLDING us in there.



There will always be days on this earth when disappointment, fear, and grief seem like waves that are too high and hard to endure. Don’t take your eyes off God during those times, but if you do and begin to sink, remember you have never left His sight! Your life is being “held in there.”

He chooses to reach out to touch us, grab us, and hold us!

 

Through the prayers others say over me and send me, texts, cards, and visits from friends, I can feel His hands holding me.

You’re also being held!

Please click reply or comment below to let me know what waves you are experiencing so I can pray for you!

Cheri Fletcher

Cheri Fletcher

Cheri is a dynamic writer, compelling speaker, and the host of the “Your Spiritual Game Plan” podcast. 

She is passionate about guiding individuals in crafting a strategy to live out God’s plan for their lives. Cheri believes that understanding the strategic plots of the enemy is crucial in overcoming life’s challenges.

Through the ups and downs of her journey, Cheri has faced numerous changes and transitions, each feeling like a piece of her identity left with each role. 

Her experiences have equipped her with empathy and insight, enabling her to connect with others navigating similar paths.

Cheri and her husband Todd recently relocated to Cleveland from Seattle, WA. They are the proud parents of two newly married sons, a cherished daughter who recently passed, and a loyal canine companion named Libby. 

Despite life’s twists and turns, Cheri has found comfort and joy in the simple pleasures, particularly the company of friends, walks, and visiting new places.  

Known for her hospitality, she warmly invites anyone into her home for a cup of coffee, regardless of the state of her kitchen.

Leave a Comment

8 Comments

  1. Linda Blaser

    I love that though full of great pain, you are reaching out to others to lift them up in prayer, to be a support for them. 💝

    Also this picture of you is beautiful!

    Reply
    • Cheri Fletcher

      Thank you Linda! You have been and will always be a treasured friend!

      Reply
  2. Meesh Kidd (Life Care, Eastern Division)

    Cheri , I love this and I think most people can relate to the grief of loss. It does come in waves, BUT God will uphold you and give you daily strength to continue his will in your life. Your words and writings are a blessing to SO many!

    Reply
    • Cheri Fletcher

      Thank you so much Meesh! Your prayers and words of support for our family are so comforting!

      Reply
  3. Amy F.

    The visual you present in this story of Jesus reaching out to take hold of Peter’s is so comforting. It reassures me to know that when the waves of discouragement or exhaustion hit, I can rest assured that Jesus has His eyes on me and that He will reach out for me when I cannot reach for Him. I am so grateful for a loving Savior who pursues us with a passion…I am grateful He is there for you! ((Hugs))

    Reply
    • Cheri Fletcher

      Thank you so much!! It comforts me as well to know that there will be days I can walk on water and when I can’t he is right there!

      Reply
  4. Lynn Cowell

    Cheri – I have prayed for you at times, unable to comprehend the pain of losing your child. Sorry feels so small right now. What feels even harder is that you have asked us how YOU can pray for us. Only God.

    My 42-year-old niece has been in ICU since Christmas. She was diagnosed with ARSD (Adult Respiratory Syndrome Disease). She is on a ventilator and feeding tube and in critical care.

    Thank you, Cheri. Thank you for your courage and bravery to share your journey with us. We see the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in you. He is real in you.

    Reply
    • Cheri Fletcher

      Thank you so much friend! Your friendship and your words are such an encouragement! I am so so sorry to hear about your niece. Please keep me updated. I know this is a late reply and I am sorry for that! I will continue to pray over her and the entire family!!

      Reply

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