My 18 month old son and I listen to a lot of children’s music during the day. One of the CDs we listen to has this song on it, so I have been hearing it a lot over the past few weeks. In the song, it says “God keeps me.” I heard this phrase a lot growing up but I never really understood what it meant, and it never occurred to me to ask. I feel kind of silly admitting it because it’s such a simple phrase, and I’m not sure why it took me almost 30 years to grasp the meaning.
One day this past week, I was folding the laundry and singing along when it suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t understand the meaning. I started asking myself a bunch of questions and and answering them all inside of my head. I suppose you could say I had a little dialogue with myself.
“What does it mean to keep something?”
“Well, it means you don’t get rid of it.”
“Why do we keep things?”
“Because we value them or have some kind of attachment to them.”
“Why do we get rid of things?”
“Usually because they’ve served their purpose or are no longer wanted.”
And so on it went until I finally had a lightbulb moment and finally came to understand what this very simple phrase actually meant. So I will do my best to explain my thoughts on it here.
Think for a moment about something that belongs to you which you would really like to keep. It could be your husband, your house, etc. Why do you want to keep it? Probably because it’s worth something to you / means something to you / holds a special place in your heart, etc. How do you treat this thing? Do you treat it with care? Do you do something to show that it’s yours? For instance, marry the man you love to show the world he is yours? Have the house in your name to show your ownership of it?
Now think about toilet paper – a consumable possession that you really only need temporarily. Once used, it’s discarded. I doubt many people value it enough to write their name on it.
Once we trust Christ as Lord and Savior, we belong to him. We are set free from satan’s grasp. Christ keeps us from that point forward. What does that mean? He doesn’t let us go. We are His for eternity! He seals us with the Holy Spirit to show his ownership and to guarantee that we will spend eternal life with Him.
We are not toilet paper! Isn’t that exciting? God doesn’t view us as a consumable possession. He actually values us!
He doesn’t throw us away. He will never discard us like trash. He doesn’t “use” us by taking advantage of us and then abandoning us after he’s gotten what he wants. He keeps us because he truly loves and cares for us!
So in a nutshell, to me this phrase seems to encompass our assurance of salvation.
For reference, see the following: Ephesians 1:13, 2 Corinthians 1:20-22, Philippians 1:6, Jude 1:24