Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Softly And Tenderly Jesus Is Calling"1 (Lyrics)
Little did Andy know, when he travelled to a nearby town to arrest a noted publisher for failing to pay a ticket fine, that he would be accused of malfeasance of office. The accusations were based on an interview the publisher's reporter (disguised as a college kid) had made with Barney, his deputy. Telling her how Andy used the squad car for other than official business was all she needed to nail Andy. The state's Attorney General saw the article and quickly presented Andy with the alarming accusation. Even more confusing was discovering that Barney was their star witness.
Andy and Barney eventually assembled the pieces of this puzzle, but Barney rose to the occasion: "All them things I said; for example, his using the squad car for personal reasons. Sure, he was delivering groceries to Emma Watson because she was too sick to get down to the market. And that's just one example of the things Andy's done for the folks in this town." (The Andy Griffith Show, Season 2, Episode 29, Andy on Trial, April 23, 1962)
Similarly, those who couldn't pay their debts in the first century were often thrown into prison, forced to sell their possessions, and occasionally were commanded to sell their family members into slavery. God called the rich who oppressed them murderers.
James 5:5a,6 – You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you. (NLT)
Had the accusations made against Andy proved true, Barney would have been appointed sheriff, quite an opportunity for a small-town deputy. He chose, however, to defend his friend and use his hands for healing instead. I must do the same. God gives me assets in the form of possessions, talents, opportunities, money, and relationships. I can use them to promote my own selfish interests, or I can employ them as opportunities to extend healing hands. The choice is mine. God won't force my hand either way. When I choose the healing course, I'll begin to experience the tip of a life flooded with abundance and happiness.
Choose to use your hands for healing.
Prayer: Merciful Lord, as You have extended Your healing hands to us, so encourage us to extend ours to others. Amen.