Grandmother’s Hands

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about hands lately. It seems like an odd topic, doesn’t it? Truly, they are pretty remarkable pieces of creation and the Bible refers to hands in so many ways.
In the Old Testament, when Moses’ hands were lifted up the Israelites kept winning the battle against the Amalekites. Isaac blessed his sons, Esau and Jacob, by laying hands on them. In 1Kings, Solomon spread his hands and lifted them toward the heavens as the temple was dedicated. In Psalm 134 David implores his fellow Israelites to lift their hands in holy praise to God and in the New Testament believers are encouraged to lift their hands in prayer.
Through our hands we have the ability to communicate love and care. I remember my Grandmother’s hands. When she was visiting our home, she would come upstairs to say good night to me and my siblings. She would sit by our side and scratch our backs. We would beg her to not stop and she would patiently sit and keep scratching. It was a relatively simple gesture, yet one I so fondly remember and one that communicated love. She wasn’t a wealthy woman – she didn’t buy us many gifts, but with her hands she knit us mittens, made old-fashioned donuts, repaired torn clothes and lovingly held us.
I have decided that I also want my hands to be instruments of God’s love. I know I can do that in many ways – through a kind touch, by cooking a dinner for someone in need, by writing an encouraging note, or simply by scratching my grandchildren’s backs. And, by doing so, I hope that others can feel the marvelous love of the Lord.
Have a good week,

Too Much of a Good Thing May Be a Bad Thing

In our book, My Grandmother Is. . . praying for me, the month of August is devoted to the character trait of self-control.  As my friend, Kathy, said last week in her blog, there are many aspects of  self-control–speech, behavior, thoughts, etc.  I particularly resonated with Proverbs 25:16, given on August 22.

     If you find honey, eat just enough–too much of it, and you will vomit.

This seems like such a simple command.  As sweet and delicious as honey is, do not eat too much of it.  Eat just enough or you will become sick.  It reminds me of a comment I heard years ago when a very tall, thin friend was chastising our very chubby overweight friend.  “What’s the big deal?  said our thin friend.  “Just don’t overeat!”

How easy to pontificate about temptations that are not our own!  Well, all I can say is our thin friend may not understand, but I do, and so does my little overstuffed literary friend, Winnie the Pooh.  That little stuffed bear goes to all kinds of extremes when it comes to securing honey– soaring to the tree tops disguised as a cloud, enduring the attack of killer bees, as well as the humiliation of being “a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness” for over a week.  All in the name of honey!

In today’s therapeutic vernacular , Piglet’s best friend is a “honey addict” with no self-control.   Perhaps that is why I love this little bear!  I, too, love food, especially sweets, and do not always control myself as I should.  Perhaps Pooh is like me in that eating sweets somehow transports me back to the simpler more peaceful time of my childhood.  More and more “honey” promises comfort to all the stresses I feel in this adult life.  Unfortunately, such promises are empty lies, and instead of providing lasting comfort, only provide a stomach ache or, if continued over a long period of time, a serious illness.

Because he is a bear of “very little brain,” Pooh may not realize there is a much deeper issue involved than merely craving honey.  Our obsession is not really about honey, but a “savior” who will help us make life work.  A lack of self-control in any area of life–food, money, sex, work, etc. is a symptom of a deeper need.

Sooooooo, how shall I pray for those sweet granddaughters when it comes to self-control?  My prayer for them, as for myself, is that when the Holy Spirit reveals this inability to control myself, I will not despair that I have failed again.   Instead, I pray that His prompting will cause me to run to the One who had, who has, and who will always have, perfect self-control, the Lord Jesus.  He is the real Savior who brings lasting comfort and peace.

Grace to you (especially when you have no self-control) 🙂