Another day is dawning and I will confess to you this – I am feeling a bit nostalgic. A song keeps running through my head from so long ago, I had all but forgotten it. It’s an old Beatles classic, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” Catchy tune, great lyrics, (if you just read the title, you basically know most of the lyrics) We used to roller skate around the rink to that song for hours on end.
Maybe I’m just missing hand holding right now. Not too long ago there was a prediction (announcement?) made on national TV by Dr. Fauci that the handshake would become a thing of the past. He stated that we would not return to this particular behavior even when we are allowed to return to life outside of our homes.
However will politicians and pastors handle this new rule? (remember back in the day waiting in line after Sunday service to shake the pastor’s hand?) I wonder if the phrase “let’s shake on it” will disappear from the lexicon entirely, as handshakes will no longer be used to “seal the deal” so to speak? (will the power of the pinky swear also become null and void?)
The handshake has long been a gesture of greeting, good will and acceptance. This got me to wondering, what’s so special about hands anyway? I think it all started at creation. Genesis 2:7 tells us, “the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
God used His hands to make us! David cried out to God in Psalm 119:73 saying, “Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn Your commands.”
Likewise Job said to God in Job 10:8, “Your hands shaped me and made me.”
Isaiah 64:8 says, ” . . . we are all the work of Your hand.” and David says in Psalm 8:3, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place,”
David was so specific as to refer to God’s fingers. Imagine it. God created us by hand, we are hand made, if you will. No factory replicas here. We are each a unique design. Ephesians 2:10 goes so far as to say, “for we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God previously prepared for us so that we should live in them.”
God formed Adam with His hands and He gave Adam hands, something no other creature had been given. We are created in the image of our Creator and that includes having hands! Amazing! We too can use our hands for creative purposes. We build things with our hands, we paint and sculpt and sew and cook and knit and play musical instruments, . . . the list is endless.
Our vocabulary reflects the importance of our hands. We say someone is handy or handsome or a handful, we lend a hand, receive a handout; there are helping hands, healing hands, the hand of friendship, a man would ask for a woman’s hand in marriage, we say we can “handle” it when we think we have things under control. And when we find we don’t have control, we say things have gotten out of hand.
Hands are special. Those in love hold hands. Doctors used to hold patients hands as they ministered to them at their bedside. (that’s from back in the day when my grandpa was a doctor and made housecalls) Parents hold their young children’s hands when crossing the street to keep them safe. We often join hands with each other while we are praying. Maybe that’s because holding hands connects us with each other. And we were created to crave connection because we were created for relationship with our Creator.
I long for a close relationship with my Heavenly Father and He desires to give me just that. My Heavenly Father is a hand holding Dad. I have come to count on that over the years. Just listen to what He says in Isaiah 41:13,
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
King David said of God, “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:9-10)
I like all those assurances, assurance that my Heavenly Father not only takes me by the hand, He guides me and He holds onto me. (and all this time I thought I was the one holding onto Him)
In fact Isaiah 43:13 confirms just who is holding onto who, “Yes, and from ancient days I am He. No one can deliver out of My hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
What wonderful security I have knowing Whose hand is holding mine. If I have any doubts, these words from John 10:27-30 should eliminate them altogether. Jesus said,
“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
These words continue the beautiful picture painted in Psalm 23 of God caring for me as a shepherd cares for his sheep. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” The shepherd doesn’t want to lose even one lamb. Matthew 18:12-14 tells the story,
” . . . If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? . . . In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.”
Yes, nothing can snatch me from my Heavenly Father’s hands, and that includes COVID-19. My God’s grip on me is everlasting and supremely stronger than this current virus that has entered our world. But ultimately it is my Father’s world and He reigns!
There are a lot of hands I would like to be holding right now as I write this – the hands of my children who are spread out all over the country so far away, the hands of my sisters, of family and of friends everywhere, the hands of my neighbors, who are so close and yet so distanced by fear and by law forbidding the shaking and the holding of hands. (who could have seen that one coming?)
I’m glad my Heavenly Father isn’t bound by any social distancing decrees. He is holding my hand tightly through each and every day of this COVID crisis. In fact, He is hugging me, holding me in His hands and helping me live each day to its fullest . . . because sometimes I just need a hand to hold . . .
As I close, dear readers, another song is playing in my mind. (told you I was nostalgic today) It is appropriately, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” Perhaps you know this song? Well, in my mind we are all around the campfire, holding hands, (of course) singing endless verses and versions of this song.
hopefully you can join with me, just don’t forget to bring the marshmallows . . .
sincerely, Grace Day