Thursday, August 26, 2021
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Listen while you read: "Be Thou My Vision"1 (Lyrics)

Psalm 73:23 – Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. (ESV)

I was sitting on my balcony, watching my hands show a slight tremor, and I thought about the value of our hands. Some months ago, I was diagnosed as having Parkinson's disease, and while the medications have things well under control, I realized the importance of our hands.

I also recalled some meaningful experiences involving hands that occurred on October 1st, 2017.

A neighbour on my floor was also my table mate, so we became good friends. Eventually, Fred's health failed, and he was transferred to Sunnybrook Hospital.

As I was visiting him, he asked me to give him a hand as he wished to sit up. The nurse then came, and with her skilled hands, applied a soothing salve to his back. She then helped him to a comfortable position lying on his back.

Both my use of hands and also, more importantly, the nurse's skilled use of her trained hands, were very valuable to Fred.

Even as we were making use of our hands in a relatively simple way, highly skilled surgeons were using their hands to perform transformative procedures on other floors of the hospital.

Before I left Fred, I prayed with him, and not many days afterwards, he passed away. I was thankful that I was privileged to help him with my hands that day.

I then proceeded to a higher floor in the hospital, where one of my great-grandsons had just arrived in this world. Since it was pre-pandemic, I was permitted to enter and see my oldest granddaughter, Sarah, resting comfortably. After a brief conversation, Mike gave his son to me to hold.

I took Aiden in my hands. Perhaps surprisingly, he didn't cry. In fact, he opened his eyes, and for a short time, we communicated. While holding him in my hands, I spoke with my lips and he communicated with his eyes. I prayed for him and for his parents before returning him to his father.

What a contrast! Shortly before, I was using my hands to help a gentleman approaching ninety years of age. Then, I was using those same hands to hold a baby just a few hours old.

My hands did not need to be overly skilled, but needed to be available and willing to perform simple but necessary tasks. Every day, not just on October 1st, you and I must be ready and willing to use our hands for others.

I then thought about the fact that God has privileged us to be His hands with His strength supporting us.

The Bible has many such references. A couple of significant ones are in Isaiah 41.

Isaiah 41:10,13 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you." (ESV)

I am always humbled when I think of the verse that reads:

    Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today;
    He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way;
    He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died;
    He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.
           – Annie Johnston Flint

Prayer: God, help us always to be willing to be Your hands helping others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Vincent Walter <vwalter@bell.net>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wise words, Vince. Have a blessed day.

    Thank you for praying and helping others.

    Thank you, Vincent for another beautiful devotion. You are a blessing!

    Good Morning Vince
    God bless you!!!

    That’s a lovely devotional. Thank you.

    Thank you, Vincent, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.

    Thank you, Mr. Walter, this is, to me a peaceful devotion.

    Thank you for a moving story, Vincent. I always enjoy and learn something from your posts. God bless!

    Thank you, Vincent, today’s message is particularly meaningful for me today.

    The bookends of life Vincent … a birth certificate and a death certificate. Thank you and blessings.

    Thank you, Vincent. A beautiful reflection, written so well. I had tears in my eyes.
    God bless your hands.

    Thank you, Vincent. I have always loved the image of God’s right hand reaching down to hold on to me. Your ministry to others is an inspiration.

    Hello Vince,
    Thank you for another interesting and meaningful devotional. Blessings for your writings.

    Beautiful devotion on hands! I used to work in a hospital, and hands are so important.
    Blessings on you and your devotions.

    I seem to know when these devotions are yours before I finish reading every day. Truly inspiring.
    Thank you.

    I am grateful for your writing, done with hands. Thinking about hands and how they serve God has truly blessed me today. Please continue your writing.

    Hello Vincent.
    Thank you for your very thoughtful devotional about hands. It spoke to me and I wanted to reach out to tell you that.
    May God continue to bless you.

    Thanks for such a wonderful reminder! As we put our hands in His hands, He certainly will reach others with His love and care just as how He used your hands!
    Continued blessings to you, Vincent, as you reach out and bless others in His name.

    Thank you for your devotional and reminder that our hands are important. It reminded me of a ministry and special lapel pin that I received at the Festival of Evangelism many years ago that had the words — HANDS FOR CHRIST. Keep on using your hands for the Lord!! Blessings.

    Dear Vincent
    Thank you for the wonderful devotional this morning. I will be much more aware of my hands today because of you.
    I always enjoy your submissions, your story telling and messages are so lovely.

    Well done, Vincent! I sometimes try to guess who the writer is before I reach the end of the devotional, and I was right in guessing you this time! Your examples from your life in your retirement community tell about daily life as it is for you, and help us all with similar everyday things that we also experience.

    THANK YOU!! I have recently had a lot of swelling in my hands, and it has certainly brought home to me how much we depend on our hands.
    Isn’t it great that we can be vessels of our Lord with the use of our hands.
    Thanks for your message today!

    Dear Vincent,
    Thank you so much for this beautiful Devotional! It brought me such joy, especially after visiting our dear Christian friend yesterday who has just days left to live. He was, indeed, in the care of the loving hands of the nursing staff and of our Heavenly Father. We are so grateful.
    Blessings and Joy.

    Thank you. I came across this saying a long time ago and always so good a reminder:
    He lives in me
    so that He can do through me,
    all that He would do
    if He were bodily present with me in my situation.
    I see him in you. Blessings!

    Good morning Mr. Walter,
    Thank you for today’s devotional. I always enjoy reading the ones you write.
    Your devotional today made me really think how many times in a day we use our hands.
    We use them not only for our own needs, but they can be used on a daily basis to glorify God and all he has given us.
    Thank you again for all you do.
    God Bless

    Thank you, Vincent, for your good reminders of the support of God’s right hand and how God can work when we give him our hands to use for Him. I’m reminded of my Dad’s enjoyment of using a wood lathe to shape bits of wood into candle holders which he gave to family and friends. He was always a generous person. He had Parkinson’s and found that holding pieces of wood to the lathe was something he could do even with his shaking hands.
    God bless you today.

    Dear Vincent,
    I knew todays devotional came from you even before I saw your name at the end. You have a wonderful “voice” for this ministry, and I always find your posts inspiring. Your thoughts on hands and all they do resonates with me. My Dad often quoted “the heart may conceive and the mind devise in vain if the hand be not ready.” Thank you for your devotionals and for your willingness to put your hand to the task.

    Good Morning Vincent – Good Afternoon in your part of the world.
    Thank you for today’s devotional. Good to know that your meds are keeping your Parkinson’s under control.
    How wonderful that your hands were a “thread” so to speak in the Circle of Life journey… from holding the hand of one who later passed, to holding a new life that had entered.
    Thank you for mentioning the hands of those in the health care field.
    Take Care and May God Be with you always.

    Good morning,
    Hands have always fascinated me, the way they work, the way they look, their feel, the functioning of the fingers, together or alone. I marvel at their abilities, from gentle to strong to overpowering at times… able to comfort or to hurt, to convey messages through touch or movement, to speak in some cases with the use of sign language, and most of us use our hands when we speak to emphasize what we are trying to say. I use mine to paint, to do handwork (lots of knitting), to cook, clean, to dig! So many things. As you mentioned, from comforting a friend to holding a new baby. I am grateful for my hands and hands in general.
    Thank you for your devotional. It is thought-provoking.

    Dear Walter,
    Thank you for today’s devotional.
    I often think of the hands of my dear grandmother, but as l was sitting by her bedside – my mother reminded me as we looked at her hands – everything those hands had accomplished over her 96 years.
    Raising her family, gardening, music teaching and she was an accomplished artist.
    Psalm 90:17 yes, establish the work of our hands.
    I always enjoy reading your devotionals.
    Now a grandma-ma to two little ones, the 2-year-old asked me what the spots on my hands were (age spots!) and l recalled asking my grandmother the same thing when l was young. Thus the cycle shall, God Willing, repeat again.

    Dear Vincent:
    Thank you so very much for your wonderful devotional message regarding hands!
    Our daughter was born with one hand missing, just an upper arm on her left side. She was precious and adorable and made in God’s image. Her 2 ½ year old brother was concerned but accepting and loved her as much as her daddy and I did.
    She was sitting on the living room rug at 14 months, trying to manage a hard covered story book. In sympathy, I sat down beside her and said, “Here, sweetie, let Mama help you.” Much to my surprise, she jerked the book away and uttered, with feeling, her first sentence -“Do me seff!” My first reaction? -“Oh, my, Lord, HELP! She’s going to be just like her Mama!”
    She thrived and was a delightful child. She went on to marry a wonderful Christian man. She now has a adult children, both who follow our Lord.
    Our hands are very needed and very important. I thank God that He can work with us and in us, directing one or two hands, to do His work!
    Keep writing more excellent devotionals!

    Good morning Vincent,
    Your devotional made me wonder why it is the “right” hand that is mentioned and not just “my” hand. Maybe others know that answer, but I don’t. Your message that God has given us this privilege to be His Hands in this world is a great reminder that there are many ways we can help others and many ways to communicate God’s love as you did with your great grandson through your lips and his eyes.
    I take so much for granted each day and devotionals help to awaken me to the importance of many of those things. Your devotional on HANDS reminds me to be grateful for the importance of the sense of touch through my hands that I have and that I make a difference with that sense of touch to others. With the pandemic, that sense of touch has been eliminated for most of us and we have realized the importance of it which we might have taken for granted before.
    May you continue to be inspired to share your thoughts and ideas with others in order to increase our knowledge and faith, so we grow in understanding. Your devotional also reminded me now that we are able to visit people again to remember to pray with them. Thank you. May God bless you.

    Thank you so much for this very sweet reminder of what the heavenly and the human touch with our hands means to us all. Your descriptions were eloquent. I could see you in those two hospital rooms.
    Thanks again.

    Dear Vincent,
    Your devotional was so touching. We are truly blessed to read your writings. You’re such a blessing to the people around you there and to your family.
    Keeping you in my prayers.
    Blessing to you.

    Thanks for the verses by Annie Johnson Flint. They fit right into the study for today in 1 Samuel, when God, disgusted with the sons of Eli, and Eli’s tolerance of their ways, promises to “raise up for myself a priest who will do what is in my heart and mind”.
    As part of “the priesthood of believers” her words tell me HOW this is accomplished.
    Words to take into my day.
    Bless you for this encouragement!

    Yay for your new grandbaby and that you were privileged to hold him. Thanks for this great history of your hands doing God’s work at a specific time. Keep writing, Vincent.

    Thank you for this devotion on HANDS. I have read many of your devotionals over the years and have appreciated them. I just loved today’s devotional – it really spoke to me. This pandemic has been a most difficult time for many. You are an encouragement in difficult times. Thanks.

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