In the Hands of the Father
I don’t know about you, but I derive some comfort from this phrase. What’s strange about this is that we don’t even know whether God has hands or not. But it doesn’t make much difference, does it? Because I assume that you know what point I am trying to make when I talk about the hand of the Father. I guess that I could go on tonight and explain anthropomorphisms – that is, giving human traits to non human beings, but that would get me sidetracked.
There are many places in the Scripture that refer to attributes of the Father. Sometimes we can even read about singing in the shadow of the wings of God. Once again, we don’t know if God has wings or not, but you can certainly understand the verse that the psalmist wrote. That’s because each of us connects with God in our own unique way. Sometimes when we need to be protected, resting in the shadow of the wings of God sounds safe – the same way that we think about God when we refer to being in the hand of the Father.
This is important this evening because I have been processing a whole lot of stuff that is going on in my life right now. Last week, Jared Boyd, the twenty-one year old son of a pastor friend of mine, passed away after a two year battle with cancer. I happened to watch a video broadcast of the funeral last evening and one of the questions that was raised was why God would take someone so young who was just entering the prime of his early adult life. The only answer that the pastor could offer was one that we have heard numerous times – and that is that Jared is safely in the hands of God. No more, no less.
And I remembered the time a number of years ago that Janet and I couldn’t pay the mortgage – we had spent everything we had on seminary for me. Once again, our solace came from knowing that we were in the hands of God. Or when we spent New Year’s Eve praying about God’s will for our lives – and we were delivered, once again, into the hands of God. The more I think about it, I can’t think of a place I would rather be than in the hands of God. That doesn’t always mean that I like walking through the messes in my life – but when I have to go through something scary or unknown, I derive great solace from knowing that I am under the protection of the Father. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can separate God from me – or from you…
I have demonstrated time after time that I just don’t know what is best for me. I have made that mistake on more occasions than I care to admit. Sometimes I have to be careful what I ask for – because God might just grant my request and then I am usually worse off than I would have been before. And God is a a great God. Nothing is beyond His ability. If God wants something to succeed, it will. And if He doesn’t, it won’t.
There’s no middle ground. So as we get ready to close another year, I wonder what God has in store for us in 2013. I know it’s still a month away, but I already see signs that things are changing again and God is on the move. I must have another lesson to learn – probably to be more dependent on Him. And just maybe, I need to learn to rest in the hands of God – not just to be there – but to REST there.
The verse for tonight is from Ecclesiastes, an Old Testament book written by Solomon, son of King David. In Ecc. 2:24, we are told, “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God…” Those are words that I really need to hear this evening. My encouragement this evening is that you have a Father who wishes for you to rest in the shadow of His wings, and that’s a great place to be. My prayer is that you will trust the hand of God and let Him direct the events of your life – reveling in a peace that comes only from having a trusting relationship with Him. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…