Hands. They come in different shapes, sizes, colour, age and uniqueness. For thousands of years people have used them to build up or to tear down, to heal or to hurt, to love or to hate with; some are strong, some are weak, some are talented, some are useful.
The small hands of a baby are soft and grasping, a toddlers hands like to throw, the hands of a child like to explore and learn, teenage hands are busy with phones, adult hands are working and driven, senior hands have wrinkles, age spots, aches, bumps, bruises and shake a lot.
But only one set of hands were divine.
Several years ago, I read a book called ‘Just give Me Jesus’ by Anne Graham Lotz (daughter of Billy Graham). In the book she talked about the hands of Christ being bound by the soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane.
I am a visual person, so immediately in my mind I envisioned the hands of Christ, roughly seized and tightly bound with cords at His wrists, palms turned upward, submissive but beseeching.
These hands were not soft, gentle hands but the calloused, roughened hands of a labourer; a stone worker and carpenter. The hands those soldiers grabbed belonged to the Creator of you and I and everything in the universe. They were the hands that gently spread mud on a blind man’s eyes and healed them; that gave a grieving mother her son back from the dead; that fed thousands; that scooped up squirmy, laughing children and placed them on His lap and blessed them.
The unresisting hands of Christ were bound, wrenched, whipped, forced to carry a rough-hewn wooden cross and had spikes driven through them, for us. Think about that! Not only had these hands been innocent and loving during there time on earth, they were the hands of God incarnate!
Yet He offered them up for us. Beautiful hands of a Saviour, rough, bloody and nail-scarred forever.
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” Isaiah 49:16
However they are no longer bound but are now offered in intercessory prayer for us who believe. Those same hands are stretched out beseechingly in love to those lost and suffering in the darkness of this world, longing to draw them to Himself.
And what about my hands? What does the Lord ask those who say they love Him to be doing with their hands?
“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
“I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.” 1 Tim. 2:8,
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-when you see the naked to clothe him and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” Isaiah 58:6-7
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him,’Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:15-17
The bible is clear about what we should be doing with our hands:
- work quietly and diligently
- pray, pray, pray
- share our resources
- help those with physical needs
- help those who are being oppressed
I find these verses and this list challenging and daunting but God is not asking me to do it alone. He has given me His Spirit to dwell in me and help me to do His will. If I ask He will lead me and show me one small thing to start with. The start of a new journey is always the first step. Do I trust God? Am I willing to take Him at His word that He will provide? Do I believe He is sufficient? Do I really trust Him with EVERYTHING?
A friend of mine told me about a book by Timothy Keller called ‘Generous Justice’. When I first started to read it, I got annoyed and put it down for several months. Recently I began reading it again. I think I was annoyed with it before because I was convicted but overwhelmed. You see, I was relying on my own strength and not the power of the Holy Spirit.
So dear ones, lift your hands in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you one day at a time. Ask Him how He wants you to use your hands today. While you are waiting and watching, work peacefully and diligently at what ever is before you. Use your hands to comfort, show love and pray for each other. I am praying for you, please pray for me in this challenge.