Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hands I've Held Dear

Whether or not you’re a country music fan, you’ve probably heard the old song Daddy’s Hands. Whenever I hear it, a lump forms in my throat. My dad had a rather unique left hand, injured in an accident when he worked in a gypsum mine before I was born. With surgeries and skin grafts, they managed to save it, but Dad’s left hand remained at a strange, stiff angle and his use of it was limited. Still, I loved Dad’s hands. To me they represented love, care, and tenderness because he was a loving, caring, tender dad.

When I met and married my husband, I loved his hands too. One morning in 1995, after he switched from an office job to farm work, I noticed how his hands had taken on that greasy look of mechanics and farmers. Sitting across the breakfast table from him, I said “you know, I’ve always loved your hands, but it’s going to take a while for me to get used to them looking like this.” I couldn’t have guessed in a million years that later the same day, Jon would injure his arm in an accident and we’d be saying good-bye to his right hand.

Following Jon’s amputation, I found myself unable to sleep and would get up to read my Bible. Passages about the hand of God and the arm of God jumped out at me from everywhere. You can imagine how comforted I felt to read the following:

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand...” Isaiah 41:10. God’s strong, safe hands endure forever. 

My dad lives in Heaven now and I know he has two strong, healthy hands. I look forward to seeing that. I know my husband’s arm will be fully restored one day, too, and I really look forward to seeing that. 

But the hands I long to see most are the only hands that will bear scars in Heaven. Nail scars. And those scars were no accident. They represent Jesus’ own choice to endure pain and death on a cross out of love for me and you. An old hymn says “I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side by the print of the nails in His hands.”

This weekend, as we remember Christ’s sacrifice and celebrate His resurrection, please take a good look at your own hands and consider the ones that took the nails for you.

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