The things we do with our hands are so automatic, we hardly think about them. We use them for countless, everyday tasks until … we stop to consider whether we should touch that new thing or that undesirable person. A pause to pray for God’s guidance will always get our hands moving again in the direction He wants them to move. Happy handling His way!
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
We had a cat that lost its front paw when it got too close to the hay mower. Over time, it learned to compensate and thrived as well as other farm cats.
God has given animals amazing abilities, both mentally and physically, to use their paws or claws. Sea otters actually use tools such as rocks, glass bottles, and driftwood to open clam shells. They place the tool of choice on their upturned belly and pound the clamshell against it until the shell opens, releasing its clam. They eat their weight in food every day, which means lots of hard pounding with their strong and flexible hand-like paws.
I look at my hands with its misshapen fingers, swollen joints, and blue veins and am awed at how I’ve used them over the years. Like many of you, I’ve rocked babies, offered hugs, and cleaned up messes. I’ve cooked and served thousands of meals, pulled weeds, picked wild berries, milked cows, pitched hay, and cleaned up messes. I’ve turned pages of countless books, typed stories, and cleaned up messes. Perhaps like yours, my hands have performed endless tasks—some even stained with wrong deeds and with love withheld.
The Bible has much to say about our hands. James 4:8 says: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners.” In other words, we are admonished to wash our hands, so to speak, before approaching God in prayer and conversation. The Lord’s Prayer includes the command to forgive others, probably the most difficult way to wash our hands than any.
Moses wrote a prayer, Psalm 90, in which he asks the Lord to “establish the work of our hands.” (Verse 17) So important was his prayer that he repeated the phrase.
Timothy, writing to Christian men, asked that they “pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting.” (1 Timothy 2:8) The operative word here, I believe is holy. When we maintain a life that is morally and spiritually clean—that is, in tune with God’s will and desire—we can claim to have holy hands, hands set apart for His use.
“He teaches my hands to make war.” (2 Samuel 22:35) As Christ-followers, we face battles every day, battles with our fleshly desires, worldly enticements, and the devil. Like the sea otter, we too can use a rock, the Rock of Ages.
Lord, thank You for being our Rock. Show us through Your wisdom, strength, and power how to establish the work of our hands in service and love to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.