"With a mighty hand and outstretched arm; God's love endures forever."
~ Psalm 136:12
I wonder how many of us could go through life with outstretched hands? Life can be so complicated. We are taught from an early age to "Hold on tight" and to "Not let go."
It is hard for us to live the life of Christ if our hands are not available to reach out to one another.
I remember years ago seeing a picture with two men side by side. One with his hands clenched as fists, the other, with his hands open and reaching out. It is a mental image that I try to remember when I encounter conflict or difficult times. My first thought has often created initially anger, but after some time, I realize that unless I open my heart, and my hands, then I will never be able to join hands with the person I am angry with and make an effort to resolve our differences.
Think how different Christ's ministry would have been had he spent all his time with his hands unavailable?
Have you ever gone to hold someone's hand, only to have it withdrawn? What does that feel like?
It's exactly what God feels every time we withdraw from God's reach.
Living our life, available to others, can sometimes cause hurt or distrust when we discover that we have been taken advantage of or mislead.
When I worked on the street with the homeless, I would often be asked, "How do you know the person you are helping is telling the truth?"
Often I didn't, and so I would have to trust that what I was doing would actually benefit. Over time, I got to know people better, and would then know if what they were telling me was true.
Unlike God, we don't always know the hearts of those we are trying to help, but making ourselves available is all that God is asking.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.