All About Hands
All About Hands
I have not been sleeping well for the past few weeks. When the stock market plummeted recently, I worried about my dwindling finances and investments. I felt like I was in a stew: constantly simmering over my circumstances and the difficult relationships with my three grown daughters.
One night, as I tossed and turned in bed, I mulled a hundred things over in my mind and plotted different scenarios for managing my life. Then God spoke to my heart. Even though He usually speaks in a still, small voice, His message was loud and clear. He told me,”Open your hands!” I thought, “Okay, Lord.” As I opened my hands and stretched them out, I realized I was not able hold onto anything with my fingers apart and palms open. I couldn’t even pull up the blanket.
God revealed, “This is how I want your hands – open – so I can take all that you have been holding onto: worries, concerns, hurts, regrets, hang-ups, disappointments, control of your circumstances and the difficult relationships you face.
God reinforced that same message as I read the September devotional from In Touch Magazine. It was titled, “The Way to Finish Well.” which focuses on 2 Timothy 4:6-8. The author, Charles Stanley asked the question: How can God’s people finish well in life? He stated, “God doesn’t require us to have perfect lives in order to finish strong. We can live abundantly and be ready to meet our Maker by surrendering, walking victoriously with Christ and serving others.”
I contemplated those words – surrendering, walking with Christ and serving others. When I think of surrender, I picture in my mind a thief caught with a bag of stolen goods. The cops or feds comes in and tells that person, “Drop it and hold up your hands.”
God is neither a police officer nor a federal marshal insisting we release “our stuff”. He is a mighty, loving God who is willing and able to carry all our burdens. Matthew 11:28 tells us, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Our part is to have a willingness to release those heavy weights to Him. Then He gives us peace. God doesn’t force us to drop our heavy load. Yet He wants us to release it to Him because He knows if we continue to carry it, our well-being (mind, heart, soul) will be harmed.
I thought about all the concerns, hurts, and worries I needed to surrender to God. God’s Word says He would carry them instead of me. I liked the idea of releasing the whole heavy bundle of stuff I was carrying. I decided it was time to do it. I gave it all to Him!
The next step after surrender is to take God’s right hand. Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Those words assure me I will be safe and secure at His side. With my left hand in His, God will support, guide, direct and help me. My right hand is free to reach out to others: to serve and help them. Proverbs 31:20 says, She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
This was a simple yet powerful life lesson for me. The whole process resembles a cross. As I stand firm on the foundation of God’s Word (Jesus Christ), I raise my hands up to God, then surrender and let Him have all control of my life. Then I give my one hand to God so He can guide me on my life’s journey and my other hand is free to serve others. I become an extension of God’s love and grace. I felt an amazing sense of relief as I surrendered my finances for God to resolve. Now my part is to stay within a limited budget and be wise with the money I have left.
I have also surrendered my relationships with my three daughters. Over the years, I have desperately tried various ways to receive their love (with gifts, trips, lunches out) so I could feel good about being their mother. It finally dawned on me that I had been looking to them to bring me fulfillment. The truth is: they are not at a place or mindset to give me their love or respect. I have been “looking for love in all the wrong places” as the song goes. My daughters are not perfect; they can only give me a fraction of the love I need. I was looking for unconditional love. The unconditional and perfect love comes from God. My fulfillment comes from Him because He fills all my needs. As I seek Him, God is the One who gives me the full measure of the love I need. I stand confident and assured that He will never leave me or forsake me. He is by my side holding my hand. As I hold onto God’s hand and walk with Him, He directs my path. He has a plan and purpose for me. He wants me to love and serve others.
God, through His Holy Spirit, equips me with spiritual gifts. He gives me opportunities to utilize those gifts. My role, as a godly woman, is to reach out to those in need with my hand. What we do with our hands is crucial to leading a fulfilling life.