Thursday, August 4, 2011

In the Palm of His Hand

     Walking in the heat this time of year can be a challenge.  While my husband and I try to get out early before the sun is bearing down on us, there are days when we just don't make it.  On those days, we love the shady spots along our route where we have a momentary escape from the Florida sun.  As we were walking on a nicely shaded street, a thought occurred to me.  God provides shade, protection, and strength all with the palm of His hand.  He gives us relief from the sorrows, pain and sickness that come with life just as the trees give us a break from the heat of the day.
     In Isaiah 49:14-16, the prophet writes these words of hope to a people who had felt abandoned by God during their exile:  "But Zion said, 'The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.'  'Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?  Even these may forget you.   Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me."  These are great words of comfort when, at times, we do feel all alone or forgotten.
     As I read this, I thought about God's hand.  There are times in our life where we need protection.  In my mind's eye, I could see God's large hand shielding us from the heat of temptation, the snares of the enemy,and the slings and arrows of accusation.  So many times we are completely unaware of His intervention on our behalf, but I am confident that one day in heaven we will become aware of just how many times God's hand protected us.
     God's hand is also there to lift us up.  He has the power and strength to carry us when we are too weary to go on.  I will never forget how my own father carried me around after I had polio.  I was too weak to walk or move so he would gently lift me and take me to bed.  This is how I see God.  Even in the poem "Footprints", we see this picture of our Lord who not only walks beside us in life but carries us when we are too exhausted to go on.
     Since we are engraved upon the hands of God, we know He will not forget us, forsake us or in any way lose us.  Jesus said this so clearly in John 10:27-29:  "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My father who has given them to me is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."  What comfort to know that we are safely led and kept by the hand of God.  Christ is our Good Shepherd who binds up our wounds with His tender hands - hands that were nailed to a cruel cross for our sake.  His hands were engraved with our sin and His blood was shed to set us free.  If only we could see each day how much the Father holds us in the hollow of His Hand...we would never stop thanking Him or rejoicing in His great salvation.
     No matter what burdens we have, we have a Savior who beckons us to bring them to Him and place them in His hands.  He will protect us, shield us, lift us and keep us for He has our names written on the palms of His hands.  No one can snatch us out of them!  If this day, you need encouragement, take the hand of the Lord entrusting to Him every aspect of your life.  You will never be disappointed because He will carry you when you are too weak to go on.  Selah!

I welcome your thoughts and insights.  Please feel free to share them here with me.

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