Tough times can cause us to get our perspective turned around. I was reminded of this recently as I talked to a fellow-griever - another parent who, like Sue and me, lost a teenager daughter to death suddenly and without warning.
She told me she had been missing her daughter terribly, and she told God she felt as if she were hanging on by her fingernails. Then she felt as if God reminded her that His hand of protection was there to hold her up - that she could let go, and He would catch her.
That's a better perspective, isn't it? This picture reminds us that when troubles come and we feel least able to hold on to our faith, it's not up to us. It's up to God to support us with His mighty hand.
Psalm 37:23-24 says: "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord...Though he fall , he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand." And Psalm 63:8 tells us: "My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me."
In tough times, we can become so preoccupied with our role in "clinging to God" that we forget about His promised protection. It's not our fingernails that sustain us - it's His loving, upholding hand.