Several years ago, not long into my journey with chronic illness, I wrote a piece that seems to ask for re-examination. I long to share those words here, and a journal page God birthed in my heart all these years later:
There it was again, that old familiar wake-up call: a wave of nausea followed by a jolt of pain and then the rush of anxiety. The journey through RA/Fibromyalgia had left me well acquainted with the Night Watches of Anxiety. But this time, a word followed closely on the heels of the normal rush: HANDS, and it came so insistently that I felt there must be something my Lord wanted to uncover inside of my thoughts.
And then it all came back in a flood: it was the week for my husband’s hand surgeries. After all the months with Rheumatoid Arthritis attacking MY hands causing pain and swelling, and residual tendon damage, now we were facing surgery to repair carpal tunnel damage in both of my HUSBAND’S wrists. Simultaneously.
Are you asking me to examine my hands, Lord? Or are you trying to teach me more about YOUR hands?
My mind and body found peace as the Lord brought STILLNESS to the night watch again. But when I woke the next morning, the word HANDS was still echoing in my thoughts.
Yes, Lord, I trust you.
You have us
You hold us.
But where is the foundation
of my knowing that?
What is the reason
I know Your hands
I know that my hands
I am left with a
of what disease
has done to my body.
How can I hold onto
when my hands
can not hold close
And then I knew. This weakness left behind in me, forever keeps my gaze fixed upward. There is only ONE who has the strength, enough to win salvation for me. And this ONE left HIS HOME in Heaven to make HIS HOME in ME.
Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him. Psalm 98:1
My hands may be weak. My husband’s hands may be damaged. But we were never meant to work the healing necessary on our own. Jesus is the only safe one to hold onto us. And Jesus is the only one who holds out God’s Salvation
and for my husband
and for you.
Many years later, I again found myself examining my crooked hands– my joints, my tendons, my bones–from a place of wonder:
What if these aching places, where we feel the storm pulling life out of us, are actually the places where HE is asking us to see differently with eyes of faith?
What if He allows the storms to uncover the hunger for His New Life being birthed in us?
What if He has opened my heart to become HIS dwelling, in the very places where pain tried to cut me off?
What if His LOVE becomes my covering with every desperate prayer uttered?
What if fellowship is poured over every broken hand and every wounded heart where mercy comes to stay?
We believe the reports that the storm is too deep, the wounds are too scarred, and our faith is too small. But what if we could hear the merciful call of our Saviour, “Come here,” as He called to the man on that Sabbath so long ago:
Mark 3:1-6 (ESV) A Man with a Withered Hand Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus,[a] to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
Jesus is still breaking through the storms and the rule-followings of this age too. His mercy meets us and calls us:
His hands hold onto our withered hands and forever we are whole in Him. He saves us and lifts our eyes toward eternity with Him, where our faith becomes sight.
Will you join me in prayer?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for sending Your son to work Your strong arm of salvation! We are overcome today at the great mercy You have poured over us, in our weakened and wounded state.
Oh but thank You for uncovering our wounds so that You could show us Your healing. It is by Your Son’s stripes that we are healed and made whole. We do believe, but thank You for calling us to see with eyes of faith that You might help our unbelief even here.
In the places of the storm and the scars we worship You. We lift our withered and wounded hands in praise to You, because You have worked Salvation for all eternity for us. We are held so safely in Your strong hands, and the word FOREVER is too small to describe what is being prepared for us in the Father’s House.
And while we wait for that day, when You will call Your children to COME UP HERE, we hear Your voice calling us to COME HERE, into the arms of Your presence, where YOU dwell within our hearts right now.
We magnify and worship You, our Glorious God.
In the precious name of Your son, Jesus, we pray,