:Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand.” (Psalm 73:23 ESV)
I was sitting on my balcony, watching my hands show a slight tremor, and I thought about the value of our hands. Some months ago, I was diagnosed as having Parkinson’s disease, and while the medications have things well under control, I realized the importance of our hands.
I also recalled some meaningful experiences involving hands that occurred on October 1st, 2017.
A neighbour on my floor was also my table mate, so we became good friends. Eventually, Fred’s health failed, and he was transferred to Sunnybrook Hospital.
As I was visiting him, he asked me to give him a hand as he wished to sit up. The nurse then came, and with her skilled hands, applied a soothing salve to his back. She then helped him to a comfortable position lying on his back.
Both my use of hands and also, more importantly, the nurse’s skilled use of her trained hands, were very valuable to Fred.
Even as we were making use of our hands in a relatively simple way, highly skilled surgeons were using their hands to perform transformative procedures on other floors of the hospital.
Before I left Fred, I prayed with him, and not many days afterwards, he passed away. I was thankful that I was privileged to help him with my hands that day.
I then proceeded to a higher floor in the hospital, where one of my great-grandsons had just arrived in this world. Since it was pre-pandemic, I was permitted to enter and see my oldest granddaughter, Sarah, resting comfortably. After a brief conversation, Mike gave his son to me to hold.
I took Aiden in my hands. Perhaps surprisingly, he didn’t cry. In fact, he opened his eyes, and for a short time, we communicated. While holding him in my hands, I spoke with my lips and he communicated with his eyes. I prayed for him and for his parents before returning him to his father.
What a contrast! Shortly before, I was using my hands to help a gentleman approaching ninety years of age. Then, I was using those same hands to hold a baby just a few hours old.
My hands did not need to be overly skilled, but needed to be available and willing to perform simple but necessary tasks. Every day, not just on October 1st, you and I must be ready and willing to use our hands for others.
I then thought about the fact that God has privileged us to be His hands with His strength supporting us.
The Bible has many such references. A couple of significant ones are in Isaiah 41.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.'” (Isaiah 41:10,13 ESV)
I am always humbled when I think of the verse that reads:
“Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today;
He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way;
He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died;
He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.”
– Annie Johnston Flint
Prayer: God, help us always to be willing to be Your hands helping others. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2021, by Vincent Walter <[email protected]>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission