“When will the doctor be here? He seems to be taking forever!”
Our son needed emergency surgery after an accident that left a horrific and possibly disfiguring injury to his mouth. It was a frantic, late night at the hospital.
“Don’t worry. He’s on his way. And he is definitely worth the wait. He’s the best facial plastic surgeon in the area. You’ll be in good hands!”
The nurse was right. Not only was this doctor knowledgeable, but he was also exceptionally skilled. Today, most people don’t even notice the slight scar on my son’s face.
When we’ve spent a few days in one place on our travels, my husband likes to feel he’s become an expert in finding landmarks. He stops a few paces ahead to show me “the back of his hand.”
When my three children were toddlers and babies, people would often say, “Boy, you have your hands full!” I assured them that yes, that was true. They were full of love!
When we are in charge of a project, a company, a church or a family, we know we can’t do it all alone. We ask others to give us a hand to help. We encourage others who are just learning: “Would you like to try your hand at this?” And in the face of stubbornness we ask, “Do I have to lead you by the hand?”
When things are spinning out of control we shout, “This is getting out of hand!” And then we try to discover the source: “Did you have a hand in this? Is this your handiwork?”
No one enjoys a leader who always insists on keeping his hand in what we’re responsible for. The constant checking up and looking over our shoulder can become unnerving. On the other hand, the leader who avoids taking responsibility or making a decision is just as frustrating when we hear, “I’m sorry, but it’s out of my hands.” Even more annoying is the leader who can’t be bothered to lift a hand to help when even a small effort would be appreciated.
When we lead people who are difficult, we can’t force someone’s hand if they are being stubborn. I know I had to be creative in guiding my sometimes-defiant toddler into making the right choices. Becoming heavy handed in my discipline only caused her to be even more obstinate.
We all long to be that leader who is even handed, fair and impartial. One with the gentle but encouraging touch. One who lends a willing and generous hand when needed, making sure everyone is secure in their role and responsibilities. One who has a trusted hand on the wheel, maintaining steady control.
All through His ministry on this earth, our Lord Jesus had His hand in things. He took matters into His own hands when He laid them on people to heal them and bless them, including little children (Mark 10:16). He was always the One in control of His path until He allowed that authority to change hands.
In Gethsemane, the soldiers at first couldn’t lay a hand on our Lord Jesus (John 18:6). Later, Pilate literally washed his hands of the innocent blood of our Savior, transferring the responsibility of his death from his hands to those of His accusers (Matthew 27:24). Ultimately our Lord suffered and died at the hands of the Jewish leaders (Matthew 16:21). Even though it wasn’t their hands who nailed our Lord Jesus to the cross, they certainly had a hand in it!
But the final hand hadn’t been played. The Lord Jesus committed His spirit into His Father’s hands (Luke 23:46). He died for us, His precious handiwork (Ephesians 2:10). Finally, He rose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty (Mark 16:10).
We know our Lord Jesus is real, alive. The disciples had firsthand knowledge. They saw the risen Lord Jesus with their own eyes. They touched Him with their own hands! (1 John 1:1)
When we daily place ourselves in the hands of the Lord Jesus, in His control and His care, we have the assurance that no one can snatch us out of His hand. No one and nothing will do that! (John 10:28-29)
And now the Lord Jesus holds out His hands to us. We see those nail prints caused by our sins. Yet He pleads with us to come closer to Him and trust Him in everything. And when we do, we have the confidence that we are always in His Good Hands!