They're cracked and bleeding again! I looked down at my hands in dismay. No matter how much I lotion them, they still crack and break open.
The Lord had blessed me with a physically active job that I enjoyed and supportive, caring coworkers who were also Christians. My job at the warehouse required a three-minute commute from our apartment. Working four 10-hour days afforded me the opportunity to spend weekends and Wednesdays relaxing with my wife, visiting with friends, and writing.
However, this Friday afternoon, after a particularly challenging day, my sore hands were dry, cracked, and covered with small cuts and scratches from handling boxes and rushing to fill orders.
"Lord, You know that I am so very grateful for this job," I prayed.
The Holy Spirit lovingly spoke a gentle reminder to my heart. "Jesus worked as a carpenter, and His hands got dried and cracked, too."
That's right, I remembered. And He must have pulled splinters out of His fingers time and time again!
"Thank You for the gentle reminder, Father."
While Jesus was with the disciples, He showed them what our Heavenly Father is like.
He also told them that He could not stay with them much longer. "'My children, I will be with you only a little longer. . . . Where I am going, you cannot come'" (John 13:33).*
Confused and saddened, the disciples struggled to understand what Jesus was telling them. "Simon Peter asked him, 'Lord, where are you going?'" (v. 36).
Jesus reassured the disciples that although He was going to His Father, He would prepare a place for them, so that they could be with Him (14:1–3).
Still distressed and confused, the disciples listened as Jesus promised to send the Comforter to them, a Counselor who would be with them forever (14:16). "'I will not leave you as orphans. . . . The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you'" (14:18, 26).
Just as our Lord promised, the Holy Spirit gives us many loving reminders in His Word and through His quiet whispers deep within our hearts. "'I am with you always, to the very end of the age'" (Matthew 28:20). "'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid'" (Hebrews 13:5–6).
When we're thrown off balance by life's challenges, Jesus understands how we feel, for He is our faithful high priest who can empathize with us, having "been tempted in every way, just as we are" (Hebrews 4:15). We can confidently cry out to Him and find the mercy and grace we need, for He stands ready to help us and He intercedes on our behalf (Romans 8:34).
Though outwardly we may be wasting away, "yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16). He promises that, as we yield to His Spirit, our momentary troubles will achieve "for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all" (4:17).
No matter what may be happening in our lives, His Word reminds us that God loves us and is watching over us. His Spirit whispers words of guidance, correction, and peace.
"Father, help us to quiet our hearts in Your presence, so we can hear Your loving reminders."
© by Howard W. Stevens
* All Scripture verses are from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.