DayBreaks for 7/02/18 – The Almighty Hands

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DayBreaks for 7/02/18: The Almighty Hands

From the DayBreaks Archive, June 2008:

I remember my father’s hands.  When I was a little boy I thought they were the strongest hands on earth.  I could not imagine anyone having stronger hands than my dad.  He was a farmer, so they were often battle-scarred and bruised.  As a grown up, my final reminders of my dad’s hands were those of a man who was dying.  There was no strength left in them, he was unable to move his fingers or grasp anything as he wasn’t conscious.  His hands weren’t the young strong hands I remembered as a child.  They were the hands of an old man, marked by the years, struck down by a heart that betrayed him.

Of course, now I realize that my dad’s hands weren’t the strongest hands on earth.  I’ve often reflected on God’s hands.  Now I realize that God is a Spirit, but Scripture speaks of His hands so often that I hope you’ll humor me when I think about God’s hands.  What would God’s hands look like?  They are busy hands to be sure, hands that created and fashioned man from the dust of the earth.  From the time of my youngest imaginings, I have pictured God kneeling in the dust of the garden, leaning forward, scooping, molding, shaping, until finally he lifted up the form from the earth and breathed into it the breath of Life.  Would there still be dirt on His hands from the creation of man?  Are the Father’s hands scarred, like Jesus’ hands?  Can you imagine how powerful they must be?  What would a god’s hands look like?

In Matthew 19:13, we get a bit of a glimpse of God’s hands.  Here’s what it says: Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.  Jesus is the exact image of the Father.  That means that his hands must reflect the Father’s hands.  The little children were not afraid of Jesus’ hands.  They were gentle hands, hands that conveyed comfort, tenderness, compassion – hands that imparted healing to the broken and sight to the blind.  

Does it seem strange that God’s hands should be so gentle?  As I pondered that thought (spurred by Don Evert’s God in the Flesh), I concluded that while it may seem strange that God Almighty’s hands that are so powerful are so gentle, it makes perfect sense.  How else could He ever touch one of us if His hands weren’t so gentle?  He knows our frame and how easily we shatter.  And that’s why Jesus had such gentle hands.

PRAYER: Thank You for your tender hands that impart comfort and hope to us.  Thank you for your hands that redirect us into safe pathways.  Thank you for the power of Your hands to snatch us from the evil one and to carry us to heaven.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 2/02/18 – The Hands of a Father, #1

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DayBreaks for 2/02/18: The Hands of a Father, #1

From the DayBreaks archives, 1/28/98: (this DayBreaks was written one week after my father died in 1998)

I remember as a child laying in the church pew (I was really young, OK?) and my dad would be resting his arm on the back of the pew with his fingers dangling down towards me.  I’d play with his fingers and hands while the preacher did his thing.  I remember thinking how powerful and strong my dad’s hands were.  He was a farmer then, so you know that they were broad, calloused and hardened from difficult work.

Last week as I sat by my father’s deathbed and I held his hand in mine, the situation had changed.  Once upon a time, it was my dad’s hand that enveloped mine.  Times when I was afraid, times when he was afraid for me (that I’d run into the road or something like that), times when he was trying to keep me from falling.  And certainly times just when he wanted to hold my hand or I wanted to hold his.

They say that at some point in our lives that the child becomes the parent and the parent becomes the child.  I guess that is what happened to my dad and I last week.  No longer could he hold my hand, now it was my hand that surrounded his and it was I who was trying to provide the comfort and assurance that I could. Yet for as much as my heart yearned to keep him from slipping off into eternity, I was powerless to stop it. And for his sake, I’m grateful that even as my hand had to let go of his, I know our Father had taken his hand to lead him home.

As I sat by his bedside holding his motionless hand, I thought about how many times the Father has held my hand and I’ve taken it for granted.  Psalm 37.23-24: If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.   Daniel 5.23b: But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways.

I couldn’t begin to tell you how many times my dad held my tiny, weak hand in his.  I wonder how many times God has held my hand and I’ve been so insensitive that I didn’t even recognize it.  But there are even worse things than not recognizing His hand.  I have a choice to withdraw my hand from His (indeed, isn’t that exactly what we do every time we sin?).  I also have a choice to not take the hand that is offered to me (the way of escape from temptation is to take His hand and walk with Him through the test).

If I had the chance for my dad to hold my hand again, I’d grab it in a heartbeat.  I hope and pray that I’ll be as eager to let God hold my hand on this journey through life.  And I pray that I’ll never again be so insensitive to the Father’s hand upon my life.  My prayer for you is the same.

PRAYER: Lord, how desperately we need Your hand to hold ours!  We tremble in fear at the roaring of the world when we think we are alone.  May Your Almighty hand reassure us that we are never alone and we are never to fear with our Father at our side.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 12/12/13 – In the Hands of Christ

DayBreaks for 12/12/13 – In the Hands of Christ

NOTE: Galen will be traveling the week of 12/8.  New DayBreaks will resume the following week.

From the DayBreaks Archive, 2003:

John 10:28-29 (NIV)  – “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

There have been times in your life, I am sure, when you felt that there will be no mansion for you in heaven.  You just can’t picture God being able to be merciful enough, and gracious enough, or forgiving enough to overcome all of your sins and failings.  I understand.  I’ve been there, too.  When I do, I go back and revisit this verse.

What do I like about the picture this verse paints?  Several things:

FIRST: it is Jesus who gives me eternal life.  Not some angel, not some intermediary, but it is the very Son of God who has given me such a gift!  Somehow, I just don’t think that he makes mistakes!

SECOND: the picture is that we are held within the hand of Christ Himself, as if he has taken our lives, put them in the palm of his hand and closed his fingers tightly, yet gently, around us to prevent anyone prying us loose.

THIRD: Jesus gave me eternal life, but God is the one who has given us to Christ.  Do you think that Christ will not be careful with a gift that the Father has given to him?  I rather think he’ll treat it as the most precious thing he has!!!!

FOURTH: not only are we in Jesus’ hands, but the Father has His almighty hand wrapped around the hand of Jesus as a double-guarantee of our safety as we journey toward our eternal destination!

John R. Moreland wrote this:

“The hands of Christ

Seem very frail

For they were broken

By a nail.

 

But only they

Reach heaven at last

Whom these frail,

Broken hands hold fast.”

Rest in his hands today!

Copyright by 2003 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: We bless you, Jesus, for your broken hands that hold us fast!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make either a one-time or recurring (monthly) donation for his support.  If you have any questions, call 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 10/03/13 – These Hands

DayBreaks for 10/03/13 – These Hands

1 John 3:2 (NIV) – Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

“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 and smiled. “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 sticky 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.” – Author Unknown

We often talk about being the hands and feet of Jesus.  We should take that seriously…and let these hands, which will one day touch the face of God, touch others here on earth to be conductors of His blessing!

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, for the simple things in life we take for granted, like the hands to hold and be held.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!