Stuck in traffic the other day, my mind busily going over the unending to-do list, I remember absentmindedly glancing at my hands on the steering wheel. “Nails are getting a bit long, need to remember to trim them…” One more thing added to the mental checklist. But for some reason, as I looked at my hands, I was struck with the realization that they somehow looked different. When did that line appear? How long has that vein been so prominent? I don’t recall where that scratch came from? Very suddenly, I felt as if these hands had changed drastically without my knowing. If they were in a line-up of hands, I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to pick them out!
Silently I asked, “Whose hands are these?” This led to my thinking about some of the most important jobs that my hands have done: holding hands, holding babies, raised in worship and silently folded in prayer, mending hurts, cooking meals, creating things of beauty, and more recently, to bring healing to others.
These weather-beaten hands are strong and capable and a beautiful picture of my life. This vision of my hands has played on my mind all week. This morning, the Lord gave me more of what He was trying to show me that day as the sun shone through the windshield.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to DO GOOD WORKS which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
These hands don’t belong to me. Just as I am the workmanship of God, so my hands are His, created to carry out His work. Deuteronomy 28:1-14 says that if I walk in obedience to God, He promises to bless the WORK OF MY HANDS. Conversely, when I step outside of God’s will for my life, He does not bless my efforts, no matter how well-intentioned or “good” they may seem. I’ve spent a lot of years learning that truth. You see, if we constantly say yes to every “good” opportunity, we not only busy ourselves so much that we are not available for the things that the Lord IS calling us to, but we rob someone else of the opportunity to minister in an area where we are not supposed to be and thus, we are in the way! It was a hard lesson to learn: not every assignment is my assignment. Instead, as I align with God’s will for me I learn that when I serve in the way that He is calling me, I am refreshed and refueled – a great relief from being overwhelmed and exhausted.
Now getting back to my revelation about my hands, the Lord used a friend to show me Galatians 5:13: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, SERVE ONE ANOTHER humbly in love.” My hands are for serving, for sharing the freedom that I have found in my Savior, for proclaiming liberty to the captives. (Isaiah 61:1) Also Luke 7:3: “The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to COME AND HEAL his servant.” My hands are for healing. This I have known for a great many years, but I had to patiently wait upon the Lord to bring this calling into fruition.
Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “With GOD’S POWER WORKING IN US, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen.” Notice it says “God can do.” It does not say “Jennifer can do.” Too often we ask God to help us do what we see as important rather than opening our hearts to allow Him to use us for His divine purposes. The whole idea is for us to let go of the steering wheel and let God take over. He is able to accomplish so much more than I could ever imagine accomplishing if I just let Him have His way in me.
When I look at my hands today, I still see signs of wear and tear; I still see a few lines that I don’t remember being there, but I also see healing, grace, and restoration. I see instruments that are ready to show love and to reveal the Lord’s power with a touch. Humbly, I lift my hands, palms up in supplication. “Have Your way, Lord.”