As usual, on the days that I write, I lay, awake early this morning, with many thoughts, mostly of the Lord, His kingdom and His work here on earth and my part in it. Then an article came to mind, along with one of the books I am writing on grief. (My sister-in-law died last week after a three-week bout with cancer; the same thing that happened with my dad twenty years ago; in the same house.)
At the conclusion of the thoughts about where I should be spending my time, and using my hands, I came to thoughts of this article. Other than my primary and most important role and position; my duty and joy as Jerry’s wife and caregiver, I use my hands for other things. It is not often that I take seriously how I use my hands and for what purposes.
I am reminded of my daughter-in-law’s ministry to her father who recently had a stroke. Several years ago his right fingers were severed in a piece of farm machinery. He now has to learn to put his left thumb and finger together, so that he can use his left hand again. He is dependent on his daughter, her family, and medical assistance to help him regain his hold on life. I’m sure that Shelley could write a better article than I could. Jerry has use of his own hands and though he has lost a leg, he is more independent than if he had had a stroke.
We take for granted all that we have at our disposal. We don’t usually question if our hands are where they should be. They are the outward implement for reaching whatever we have nearby; or the instrument for searching for what we desire to do with our hands.
Man’s Chief End
As all this went through my mind it brought me to the first question of the Shorter Catechism. “What is the chief end of man?” The answer is “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” A Bible proof for this is 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
The things at hand should be what He has given us for His glory. We perceive with our minds the things of God that are then rooted in the heart and play out through our hands. We should prepare our work and our pleasure according to His plans and His will.
Do our hands do what we want them to do; or do they naturally reach and hold whatever is closest to us? God has given us every faculty and every instrument of the soul and body to serve and honor Him. What are things that should be close to our hands every day? Besides our holding and grasping His word, our hands in some way are involved in our communion and fellowship with our risen Lord, whether clasped in prayer or uplifted in praise and thanksgiving. They are used to serve others and our own needs; and always at His disposal. They were given so as to show others whom we serve. Our hands are a witness of God’s grace working within us.
“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us:
and establish thou the work of our hands upon us;
yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”
Dear Father, show me myself as you see me in how I use my hands. Let your servant not be found wanting; but if so, do your work in my mind and heart to change the things at hand. Bring me to repentance and displace the uselessness with your wisdom, grace, and strength; for the sake of your glory and your joy. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.