God Carries Us

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Five-minute read.

You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

Psalm 139:5

God carries us.

After praying for decades for someone to sit beside me in church, God brought Ron into my life. Nothing warms my heart more than when I feel his arm drape around my shoulders during service, pulling me into his shoulder for a reassuring hug. Whenever Ron wraps me in his arms, I praise the Lord for the gift of having someone hold me.

God always has His arm around our shoulders. You could say the Lord confines us. The original Hebrew word for “hem,” tsuwr, means “to cramp, i.e., confine (in many applications, literally and figuratively, formative or hostile) bind (up), fortify, [and my favorite] put up in bags.”[i]

Bags make me happy; the more pockets, the better. Of course, I also love totes with no pockets; bags of all types make me smile. Thinking of God putting me up in a bag, I picture the tote I bought a couple of weeks ago—black canvas, with a small logo on the front, no other markings. One small, dark, metal hoop wraps around the handle, another stitched into the top seam inside, places to hang keys and water bottles. One zippered pocket on the interior allows me to put small items.

Tote bags hold lots of items and give them room to move inside of it. Life inside God’s tote bag allows for our free will. Protected by the outside walls of the bag, the Lord’s arms carry us, even when we do not realize it—making sure to protect us from the world around us. Observing from above, the Lord knows what He allows into our lives. Nothing enters the Lord’s tote bag without His knowledge.

Now and then, our Protector allows things into our lives we may not want, but through them, we grow more like Jesus.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Trusting God through the storms we endure in life challenges anyone. Recently, an acquaintance passed away unexpectedly at the age of fifty-nine. Although I didn’t know the man well, his death rattled me. Pioneering tennis in our local area, the business owner positively impacted countless lives, yet the Lord called him home. Only a few years younger than him, the tennis coach’s sudden passing amid a vibrant life jarred me, a reminder of life’s fragility and God’s sovereignty. 

Why did God let that in my bag? Why does the Lord let any of life’s challenges into our bags: joblessness, financial insecurity, betrayal, tragedies, natural disasters, sudden losses, infidelity, the list goes on and on. If God cramps and confines us in His arms, putting us up in a bag that protects us, why does He let difficult things into our space?

Through life’s storms, God refines us into fine gems. If we didn’t go through the fire, we wouldn’t experience the refinement. We can trust the Lord has us in His bag, wrapped in His arms, confined and protected, not allowing us to endure alone but always with us.

Our Maker hems us in His arms, puts us up in a bag, and carries us. His reassuring gestures communicate unconditional love. All things work for the good of those who believe and trust in the Lord (Romans 8:28).


God carries us.

Next time you place your possessions into a bag, think of God carefully placing You in His tote. As you walk through your day, carrying the pouch with you, taking out and putting things into it, think about how the Lord does the same for us. Some things our Protector lets into our lives, other things He takes out of them. Whatever God does, we must trust He’s doing it for our good. We may not see the benefit of a situation, but we will eventually find it in our Creator’s presence.

In God, we can trust.

Journaling Questions:

  1. What comes to mind when you think of God bagging you up?
  2. How does knowing the Lord surrounds you build your faith?
  3. What things do you wonder why God let into your bag or took out of it?


Lord, thank You for surrounding and keeping us safe in Your arms. Forgive us for questioning why You allow certain things into our lives and take other stuff away. Please give us faith for the journey, guiding and directing our steps as we will enable You to lead us. IJNIP. Amen

[i] Strong, J., & Lindsay, G. (1975). Strong’s concordance: Bible dictionary ; study of the words of Jesus. P.T.L. Television Network.

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