Bible reading plan Bible reading plan

Grip Strength

17 September 2023

A man with back to camera holding power lifting weight aloft

By Julia Post


“Fight the good fight of the faith.  Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. …That they may take hold of that which is truly life.  O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you.“  1 Timothy 6:12, 19-20


It is a regular sight for me to walk by my 2-year-old and see her hands full of her most treasured possessions.  Arms so full that we can barely see her eyes, she will carry her Stuffies, dolls and blanket everywhere she goes around the house.  This is all cuteness until the panicked moment when I spy something breakable or fragile mixed in with the other “valuables” amassed in her tiny arms.  Then, it is worth all the effort I can quickly muster to dive and rescue the one valuable item before it is dropped.


“Taking hold”, as 1 Timothy 6:12 & 19 quote, is a very clear-cut and purposeful action.  Because of its simplicity, it is within the strength of every believer, new or seasoned, to grip on to the right things.  The thing about “taking hold” is that it gets easily complicated.  Simple things usually do.


We start our journey with God with our hands holding only one thing - Him.  Slowly on our journey, we unconsciously add things to our arms, and our hands become full of things we maybe shouldn’t be carrying.  They could be good things, or maybe they’re heavy.  But either way, when our hands are full of many things, suddenly being able to carefully clutch the only thing becomes muddled.


Scientists from Queen Mary University of London conducted a study* concluding that the grip strength of your hand may be directly associated with healthy cardiac functions in the body.  They concluded that the strength or weakness of your grip can actually indicate future possibilities for heart risks.  In short, the better your handgrip strength, the better prediction you have for future health.


A Harvard study** on the same subject brought out an interesting comparison, saying that still adjusting for any other factor for heart disease - blood pressure, age, smoking, exercise, etc - grip strength was still the best predictor of cardiovascular health.


In your spiritual life, there is one thing that best predicts your health spiritually - your grip on Him.  Your ability to grab onto God and let go of everything else that falls below Him.  The intensity with which Paul admonished Timothy with that in this passage sets the tone for these heartfelt letters to his beloved friend.


There are many things the Bible says of which to cast away.  The best way to walk the days of your life not holding on to the wrong things - is to hold on to the One thing.  Take hold of eternal life.  Set your grip on Him, and don’t let go.