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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Hand of God

Yesterday, a friend was writing on her blog about teaching her puppies how to submit. You do this by making the puppy lie down on his back with your hand on his belly. You hold him there until he relaxes and stops struggling. Teaching him to submit like this makes him a happier, healthier, more useful dog.


I was just noticing that today my diagnosis of Parkinson’s is making me feel slightly claustrophobic. It’s as if today I can feel my world slowly, almost imperceptibly, closing in on me. I’ve already got people trying to tell me what I should or shouldn’t be doing, regardless of what my doctor says!

We tend to talk about “the hand of God” as if it were always a pleasant experience.
“God really has His hand on that young man.”
“You can certainly see God’s hand on her ministry.”

I’m not sure Job would agree.
"Even today my complaint is bitter; His hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.” -- Job 23:2
In the lives of believers, isn’t God’s hand just as certainly on the young man with cancer, or the woman whose attempts at ministry are blocked at every turn? Can’t we see God’s sovereign hand in the things we consider bad news, as well as things we enjoy?

So here I am, trying to learn to be still under the hand of God. Reminding myself that wondering how long this is gonna take, thinking about what I’ll do when I can get up--that isn’t submission. I just need to be still and trust, even when the walls seem to be closing in.

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Selah (stop and ponder that)

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
He lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see the works of the Lord,
the desolations He has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
He burns the shields with fire.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Thanks, I needed that!


Robin said...

Thanks for your words of reflection. I appreciate your honesty with your wrestling with waiting. I know our situations are different in so many ways, but somehow I feel comfort in knowing that someone else is learning how to enthusiastically wait with an attitude that is pleasing to God.

"We're in no hurry, God.
We're content to linger in the path sign-posted with your decisions.
Who you are and what you've done are all we'll ever want." Isaiah 26:8

Robin said...

Hope you don't mind a second comment, but I've still been thinking about your reflection. I've been thinking about the Hand of God.

I think what I need to learn now is not just to relax under the Hand of God or tolerate the Hand of God, but to even LOVE the Hand of God that holds me down.

Thanks for the challenge.