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Saturday, July 25, 2020

taken hold of

Opening Prayer: O Lord, because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I lift up my hands.  My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” (Psalm 63:3-5)

Scripture: Philippians 3:12

Journal: In what ways has God taken hold of you these days?  How has that made it easier to take hold of him?

Reflection: “Not that I’ve already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Phil. 3:12, NIV) 
     In the spiritual life, being taken hold of always precedes taking hold.  Life with Jesus is not merely about duty and obligation—it is not a weary habit or a dull routine—but about being seized by the Divine Embrace and being enraptured by a Heavenly Kiss, one so passionate and so tender that it takes hold of us and reorders all of our affections. 
     For it is not until His extravagant love takes hold of us that we have any real hope of holding onto him.  Thus, it is not so much about our grip on him, but his grip on us.  Therefore, after we have been taken hold of it becomes easier and more natural for us to take hold of Christ, for we can do no other.  Our hearts simply won’t allow it. 
     Or, as Emilie Griffin so beautifully put it: “The Lord seizes us suddenly with a quick burst of affection.  His power flows to us.  He sweeps us up.  Everything else stands still for a kiss that is passionate, tender, demanding.  In anticipation of this kiss, whole lives are altered and overturned.  In the aftermath of this kiss, destinies and ambitions and careers are discarded like old pairs of gloves.”
     Thus, our holding onto him is only a response to him having already taken hold of us.  Thanks be to God!


Closing Prayer: Because of your great love, O Lord, “My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:8)  Thank you for that.  Amen.

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