Some of you may remember a song from yesteryear with lyrics that went something like this: “He touched me, and oh the joy that filled my soul". Yes, "something" did "happen" (as these lyrics continue to say) that day, but it was more than a touch… This was at a season when I was experiencing a new beginning, a new birth, a new set of friends, and a change in direction. And then a little while went by and those flood waters of joy began to dry up or seemed to stagnate into pools of mud, all because life's circumstances simply did not go away. Soon the new was not so new and the old didn't just give way completely to the newly found faith reality. Day after day there were mountains to climb and then valleys to traverse, maybe a wilderness or two, and then a sudden “touch” and the rain came, after which the cycle started all over again.
“Put your hand in the hand of the Man from Galilee” was another one of those invigorating songs; the music was peppy and uplifting and so were the words. However, in 'real life' there were moments when I really needed Him, but when I reached out to take His hand, it wasn’t there (so I thought). Disappointment flooded me, as I anticipated just putting my hand in His hand at any time when I needed to do so. Until one day it dawned on me that, the touch I was longing for was not just a little now-and-again nudge.
When reminiscing on the precious moments when my wife gave birth to our son and a couple of years later to our daughter, I recalled how I had had the privilege of catching them in the palms of my hands before handing them gently to the outstretched arms of their mother. This indelible impression in my heart and mind has led me to realize that Abba caught me in the palms of His hands when I was born and that His hands were always there lovingly and faithfully guiding the work that they were forming. My Father’s hands do not merely touch or cuddle when I have a need. These hands have never left me. They held me while I nursed, they held me while I learned to walk, and they were constantly busy surrounding me, holding me in His love, and so many times like the clay on the putter's wheel, gently pressing, shaping, molding, cutting. Or, conversely, like a baker's hands, they were kneading me like dough in order for the leaven of His love to be thoroughly mixed into my life. In both cases, the hands of the Maker place the products in an oven, while they are also present in the heat so that His handiwork would come out exactly as He desires: "…for it is Elohim who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
Now, looking back, 50 years after having been born from above, as time progressed He has been able to make me more pliable and submissive to His tender loving care, even though I, the works of His hands, still have a way to go before I become conformed to His image. I know that all my efforts in the past (as well as future ones) can never accomplish the task. It can only happen when by faith I embrace the “cross”, which is the dying of Yeshua. Our Creator never intended for us, that is, for our flesh, to accomplish the (impossible) task. “For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which Elohim prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). These “good works” are His, not ours; we are not creators and we do not know the blueprints of what we shall become. "Beloved, now we are children of Elohim; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (1 John 3:2). Seeing and trusting Him is our portion of the 'work' that changes and conforms us to His image. Remember, the clay on the potter’s wheel? When we hold still (rest), with our eyes on him, His hands are able to shape us according to the heavenly pattern, but if we move in a direction that is of our choosing inevitably a flaw will occur, and if that happens, He will correct and put the needed pressure on that particular area in order to get us back into His designated shape.
“As you have therefore received Messiah Yeshua the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6-7).
So very nice. Thank you. Shabbat ShalomReplyDelete
Yes, and amen! What a beautiful message! Oh, I remember those songs very well, and yes, and "work" we need to do truly is to look at, believe, and trust as we rest in Him. Thank you!ReplyDelete