Wednesday, July 20, 2011

These Hands

~Nancy Goring    
     Several days ago, while I was working on my computer, my four-year-old granddaughter came into the room and was watching. She put her hand on top of my hand while it was on the mouse. Then she looked up and said, "Grandma, why do your hands have bumps on them?" She was referring to the veins in my hands. I explained to her that I had old hands. She looked at her sweet little hands and said, "I wish you had my hands, grandma." I thought that was so precious and I said, "I wish I did too, baby." Then I thought about that statement for a while. Although I would like to have beautiful hands that were young and smooth and wrinkle-free, would I really give up these hands?
     These hands of mine with their protruding veins and tiny scars and wrinkles have been through much. Would I trade those experiences for youthful hands that have never seen trials and tribulations? These older hands have helped serve many a meal to the sick and those who were not able to walk about. They have made uncountable Bible lessons and written many articles. They have typed and edited multiple manuscripts for various lectures. They have bathed and fed several dying saints who were unable to fend for themselves, as well as some who were hospitalized for weeks on end. They have reached over the heads of countless numbers of children assisting them with their Bible class lessons. They have made cards for the shut-in and dialed innumerable wayward saints, begging them to return to the Lord. They have handed out Bible tracts from door to door, changed the diapers of babies and assisted mothers on the pews so they could hear a gospel lesson. They prepared meals for those who were unable to do so and for those who had lost loved ones. They have helped organize weddings for sisters in Christ and held showers for those who were pregnant. They have hosted ladies Bible classes and thoroughly enjoyed having the brethren over for a meal and fellowship, hosted visiting preachers and their families with great pleasure. These hands have nurtured and loved grandparents, parents, and siblings as they lay waiting to meet their Maker. They have loved and cared for a husband, children, and grandchildren for forty-seven years now, and feel blessed by God to have been able to do so. These hands continue to do so and are still functional, thanks be to God, and will continue to do so until I take my last breath or am unable to move them. I am reminded of the verse in Luke 17:10: “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” My life, my health, my body has been given to me by an All-Giving, All-Loving Father who adores me, and who expects me to give back my reasonable service to Him (Romans 12:1-2). Many sisters in Christ can say the same. It is not to brag upon what we do, it's simply a reminder of what is important in life, and that is our service to God. He gave us these hands to work, not to worry about how they look, or if our nails are perfectly manicured.
     Now my little granddaughter was just being kind and wanting her grandma to have pretty little hands like she had. But for my sisters in Christ, please remember as I had to do; take a look at your hands and then look backwards at your life and see if you are serving more today than you did yesterday. That should be our thrust and goal. Set your affections on those things which are above, not the earthly things (Colossians 3:1-3). We are all aging and our physical bodies will change, but the spiritual body renews itself continually as we study and serve our Father in heaven. Remember, “...though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day,” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
     Give up these hands? Not a chance! I am thankful to God for every wrinkle, every broken blood vessel, each protruding vein - it's just one more reminder that He has allowed me to serve in His kingdom, and it is my prayer that all of my sisters in Christ will have the same privilege to serve as I have been allowed, and that your opportunities to do so will be multiplied. Again, I must say that we can learn so much from the children if we will just listen! Thank you, Kate, for making me aware of how much God has blessed me in His service!

“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20

Nancy is the wife of Bill Goring, gospel preacher for the Chipman Road church of Christ. She has 4 children, 11 grandchildren and has taught Bible class for over 40 years, published several books including: Behavior Becoming Holiness: Studies in Titus Chapter 2 and Overcoming our Self-Imposed Prisons.
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