Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Hands in Prayer
Grandpa, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. He didn’t move, just sat with his head down staring at his hands. When I sat down beside him he didn’t acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat, I wondered if he was OK. Finally, not really wanting to disturb him but wanting to check on him at the same time, I asked him if he was OK.
He raised his head and looked at me smiled and said.”Yes, I’m fine. Thank you for asking,” he said in a clear strong voice.
"I didn’t mean to disturb you, Grandpa, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,” I explained to him.”
“Have you ever looked at your hands,” he asked. “I mean really looked at your hands?”
I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down.
No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point he was making.
Grandpa smiled and related this story:
“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years ...
These hands, though wrinkled, shriveled, and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life.
They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back.
As a child my mother taught me to fold them in prayer.
They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots.
They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent.
They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son.
Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.
They trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse and walked my daughter down the aisle.
They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body.
They have been dirty and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw.
And to this day, when not much of anything else of me works real well, these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.
These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of my life.
But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.
I will never look at my hands the same again.
When my hands are hurt or sore I think of Grandpa. I know he has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God. I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.
How was Grandpa SO certain that he was going to see the face of God when he passed to the next life?
Well, it’s not because he was such a “good person” or because he belonged to a particular church or because he was baptized in a special way. There is nothing he could have possibly done in his own power to attain such a precious Gift.
The only way he was able to be certain that when he died he would see the face of God and take a hold of His hand was through Faith.
The Faith that was given and placed in his heart to believe that Jesus is the Only way to God the Father and to be certain that He died on the cross to pay for every single sin he ever committed.
For this faith to take action, he believed in ...
GRACE… Heaven is A Free Gift
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
We cannot earn our way to heaven, and none of us deserves to go. It is a gift.
MAN… We Are All Sinners
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
Every person who has ever lived has missed God’s standard of perfection.
GOD…He Loves Us.. HE LOVES YOU
“…God is love.” I John 4:8
While God loves us and does not want to punish us, we should also know that, as a just God, He must punish sin.
“…the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:4
CHRIST… God Balanced Justice and Love Through His Son Jesus
Jesus is the infinite God-man, God in the flesh (John 1:1). He died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay the penalty for our sins and to purchase a place for us in heaven, which he offers as a free gift.
FAITH… The Gift of Eternal Life is Received By Faith
Saving faith is not merely intellectual assent. It is trusting in Jesus Christ alone and what He has done rather that what we can do to get us to heaven.
“…what must I do to be saved? …Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…” Acts 16:30b, 31
The Bible says ,
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
You can do that now by simply praying, “Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and do not deserve eternal life. I believe You died and rose from the grave to purchase a place in heaven for me. Jesus, come into my life, take control of my life, forgive my sins, and save me. I am now placing my trust in You alone for my salvation, and I accept your free gift of eternal life.”
If this prayer is the sincere desire of your heart, look at the promise of Jesus,
“Verily, verily, I say unto you. He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”
If in anyway you feel this has offended you or you think this is foolishness ... well; I could only leave you with this ...
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18
GOD Loves You ... anyway!