I want to be a belt. A good clinging one.
When my mom was in the hospital, a couple weeks ago, she wasn’t walking very steadily. The nurses put a gait belt around her waist before she got out of bed each time. It gave them a grip so they could keep her from falling.
This came to mind as I was reading my Bible this morning, because in Jeremiah God calls His people to be a belt. Not to wear a belt that could be used to keep them from falling. But to actually be His belt.
God tells the prophet, Jeremiah, to get a linen sash (the NIV says belt) and to put it around his waist and then take it off and hide it in a hole in the rocks by the river. This is an object lesson to His people. After many days, Jeremiah is told to go back to the place he hid the belt and dig it up. He finds the belt and it is ruined and “profitable for nothing.”
And then God says that those who follow the dictates of their own hearts and refuse to hear Him are like that ruined belt. They are profitable for nothing.
And He says, instead of hiding in the rocks, the sash (His people) should be around His waist, clinging to Him. Then they would be His pride and glory and an honor to His name.
Sometimes, when problems seem overwhelming, do you ever just want to go sit by a river? Or hide in the rocks? Or dig a hole in the proverbial sand and put your head in it and just pretend none of the problems are there? Escape and hiding from it all seem like the answers some days.
But with Alzheimer’s, and so many other challenges, there is no real escaping. Even if we get a needed break, the struggles are still there when we return.
So, what do we do? I love that this passage, in Jeremiah 13, says that God wants us to cling to Him. He wants us tied around His waist like a sash. Tied securely.
In some ways this seems more frightening. It puts me out in the open, not hidden in the rocks. I have no control. No shelter. I am going wherever He chooses to go. At the speed He takes me.
Being a sash, a belt, is trusting the One who bears you. It’s saying, “Okay. I’m with You no matter what. I’m clinging to You. I’m going wherever You’re going.”
It requires faith. And surrender to His will.
But it’s also a place of comfort and true security. Because His mighty arms are on either side of me. And when I’m close to Him, clinging so tightly, maybe I can hear His very heartbeat. And nothing can touch me unless He allows it.
And being a sash, listening to Him and obeying Him– not the dictates of my own heart– may bring Him glory. While hiding, and doing my own thing, makes me profitable for nothing.
Abba Father, help me cling to you today. I want to be Your sash—tied securely to You, going wherever You call me to go. Always between Your arms and close to Your heart.
Help me to be a belt. A good clinging one.