And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us,
And establish the work of our hands for us;
Yes, establish the work of our hands.
~ Psalm 90:17 ~
I celebrated another birthday and am so thankful our Lord has given me breath and strength to continue to do the work He has established for me.
As I sit here typing, I see how roughly my hands have aged. They are not hands one sees on television or print advertisements. They are not pretty, soft, delicate, or supple, instead the skin is wrinkled, dry, has age spots, and the veins and tendons pop out. Lotion helps, but none can give me back the skin of my youth.
These hands have 57 years of experience doing myriad things; most have been constructive, some destructive (like the time I took the doll’s head to use it to play baseball). They are an extension of my speech, for they help me to express my thinking. They have even been instrumental in getting the point across during evangelistic skits and while teaching.
These hands have been trained in housekeeping (inside and out) and cleaned every room in the house, swept, scrubbed, mopped, and waxed hardwood and vinyl floors (I was the original “wax on, wax off” girl), washed and hung laundry to dry, and done the dishes since the age of ten; planted and/or pruned flowers, bushes, trees; harvested fruit from trees and cactus; and pushed an ancient rotary lawn mower on flat and hilly surfaces.
These hands made up to three dozen corn tortillas every day for six years; plucked, gutted, cut, and cooked chicken (I just could not bring myself to wring the neck!); prepared vegetables, legumes, and fruit for various uses; made dessert (breads, cakes, pies, and other sweets); and made dozens of tamales from scratch.
They have created art; “played” the guitar and piano (uh-huh); banged on old Remington typewriters and dashed about on keyboards; played countless playground, board, and card games; and sewed clothing and bags.
Ready for a surprise? These hands have also — changed oil and oil filters, replaced alternators, batteries, and changed tires; washed and waxed cars; and driven a 4-speed, hot red 1968 MGB GT on the narrow, winding lanes of the Pasadena freeway (yeehaw!).
These hands started learning about babies at about age seven, and have — cleaned, diapered, and dressed squirming, kicking, crying, and sleeping babies; fed and cleaned the food or spit-up off little faces; played pat a cake, peek-a-boo, and pretended to be an itsy bitsy spider; checked temperatures, placed cold compresses on feverish foreheads, patched up boo-boos, and given medicine; soothed and massaged tired little bodies, and tucked them in their beds; and held little hands through parks, stores, and on daily walks. They still hold the hand of a teenager daughter when walking about.
These hands, though rough and dry, are strong and have massaged sore and aching bodies; comforted crying children; and have held my mom’s hand during chemotherapy, then held my dad’s at her funeral.
These hands are getting more and more use as each day passes, but one day these wrinkled, dry, achy, knuckle-snapping hands will be incorruptible. And on that day, when the work of these hands is done, they will reach out and touch the nail-scarred hands of the Savior and His face, and will be lifted up in praise of Him. But until then, I am confident that God will, in His grace and mercy, allow me to use them as long as I live to continue to do the work He has established for me to do, for they are His instruments, to do His good pleasure. I think, that to Him, these hands are lovely.
May our Lord, bless the work of your hands which He has established for you. May He strengthen them and use them to minister to others. A single hand reached out and touched the leper and cleansed him; we, too, can reach out and touch the lepers of our society and introduce them to our Savior. May your hands comfort and help those who are grieving or weak; and as you extend your hand to help another, remember this, from Matthew 25:40:
“And the King will answer and say to them,
‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did [it]
to one of the least of these My brethren, you did [it] to Me.’
Father, thank You for hands, and establishing the work of our hands. May our hands be as Yours to others; may You be pleased as we do our work and reach out to others in Your name and for Your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.