Hanging On – Like My Christmas Elf


For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. —Isaiah 41:13 NIV **

Hidden away at the very back of our Christmas tree hangs an elf, his little hand clinging to a tree branch. He’s a scruffy fellow made of pipe cleaners and felt, and he’s not in tip-top condition, poor guy, grimy with age and discolored by countless hands touching him over the years. You see, I made him myself … in kindergarten.

I know. I know. Why on earth is this guy still hanging around? My mother admired my little work of art way back when and faithfully displayed him every year. In fact, our family Christmas tree was filled with kids’ Sunday school projects and school artwork my mother treasured. When I married, I brought my pipe cleaner man along with me, since he had grown into a bit of a tradition. I couldn’t quite imagine a tree without his one-armed-hang on a branch somewhere, and he has graced each Christmas tree in our home since.

I will say that he has become a family joke of sorts. My children and husband roll their eyes at his unsightliness. “Hide him in the back!” they demand. I protest, declaring he should be front and center and merriment ensues. That elf has brought a lot of crazy laughter to our tree decorating. See? He belongs on the tree just for amusement’s sake.

At times in my life I feel a lot like that little elf. I’m not in tip-top condition, a bit wobbly—but I know my job, and I will do it with all my remaining strength. I’ll cling faithfully, not to a tree branch, but to my Heavenly Father’s hand.

“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand” (Isaiah 42:6a NIV).

At a time of deep distress in my life, God, as He so often does, directed me to this verse. In context, these words are spoken to the Messiah Jesus, but at that moment in my life, the Lord whispered to my heart, Cling to Me, and I will take hold of your hand.

Faithfully cling to the Father’s hand, dear one. There is no better place to be … especially when you feel a bit undone like my little Christmas elf.

Heavenly Father, how I thank You for the picture You give in Scripture of Your big hand reaching down and gripping mine. Help me, Lord, to cling. I don’t want to wander off and leave Your side. Keep me close and comfort me when I’m feeling undone. Thank You that Your love for me never depends on my appearance or abilities. You loved me before I even knew You. Take hold of my hand, dear Lord, and never let me stray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

** This little story is one of 100 devotionals found in Sharon’s new book, Sweet Selah Moments: Encouragement for Everyday Living. Keep reading to see the“Going Deeper” questions for this devotional. This book can help you meet with God—briefly or in depth—depending on your day. You can find it on our SHOP site if you’d like to learn more!

GOING DEEPER—for those days when you have more time to ponder

Read Revelation 3.

1. This chapter contains letters to churches that were pretty bedraggled. How does God encourage them to keep going?

2. What are the dangers these churches are warned about? Which one do you personally relate to most?

3. Are you feeling wobbly? Pray, and ask God for His big hand to hold yours. Do you know someone else who is feeling wobbly? Pray for them as well.

You are loved,



Sweet Selah Ministries

Vision To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

If you’ve been blessed, keep the blessing going!
Click over to our Donation page … and thanks.





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