Glancing down at the twin bubble-gum-pink spots on my knuckles, I knew I burned them. Again.
I grimaced as echoes of pain criss-crossed my nerves, but I had to work through it and keep serving. I’d done the same thing just a few minutes prior, and at least twice the day before. My knuckles were already sensitive and because I’m left-handed my left hand knuckles were taking a beating.
Or, rather, a scorching.
On the way home from work I looked at the eraser-shaped burn on my elbow and the long, thin cut on my right forearm, fully healed but still visible. Finally I look at my worn hands, feeling defeated.
I’m in a work environment where burns, scratches, and scars are commonplace. And while I’m learning to slow down and be more careful around ovens and hot trays, I’m also learning that I’ve got a huge casserole-dish full of pride about my hands.
You know when people ask that question – what’s your favorite body part? Well, my answer is rather strange because it’s my hands.
Why do I like them? I suppose because they’re strong but still feminine, not too small but not very big, either. My nails are average length, serviceable and healthy. Our hands also carry out our actions, whether we’re serving, helping, holding and for some, healing.
They’re just necessary, and I’m kind of partial to mine.
In the last few years God has matured my faith and grown my trust in Him, and I’m finally focused on what God laid on my heart to do for Him – write. My hands fit in with that plan nicely. After all, they’re the most important tool I need for writing.
Tap-a-tap-tap they go, combining with the Holy Spirit’s leading in my heart and mind. It’s a spiritual creation station I absolutely adore.
In fact, it’s a NEED now. I need to write, to create something for Him with my hands.
But as God so often has to do when we lose sight of grace and gain a need for law, He’s had to rein me in, stopping me short and reminding me that my hands are actually His. I don’t have to earn His love or His approval with a high word count or 4 square blog posts per month.
“They’re My hands,” my Creator says, gently grasping my hands and putting them to work at something that feels below me. “I want you to do more with them than just write.”
“But my hands get burned in that kitchen. They work hard doing tasks I don’t like doing. My hands get cut, frozen in the freezer, singed, dirty, jammed in places, and all dried up. Now they look old, and I don’t like it. Can’t I just write?”
“I have other plans for those hands, ” my Heavenly Father says.
“For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows all your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.” ~ Deuteronomy 2:7
When I survey the path God brought me down during the years of my life, I nearly drown in gratitude. I have truly lacked nothing; instead I see grace covering my life, over and over and over, and the protection, guidance and forgiveness my Savior offered even as I stumbled, stalled, and sat down on my often selfish journey.
As I remember, I recommit. Yes, Lord, they’re Yours. All Yours.
Right now, my hands hurt. They’re sore, burned, and beginning to look as though they’ve lived 35 years – because they have. And I realize that these scarred hands are a tool I must allow God to work freely through – whether in my writing or while I’m washing dishes.
All I am – and all I have – is Yours, Lord. Humble me and please forgive me when I forget this truth.
“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand.”
~ Psalm 31: 14 & 15