Monday, February 1, 2010

The Prayer of Jabez- Your Hand

"...and that Thy hand might be with me..." 1 Chronicles 4:10

When God's hand is upon you there is no power on earth that can stand in your way. God's hand offers guidance, love, protection, a shield, comfort, care, and hope. Have you ever thought of God's hand being ever present and ready to be tugged on at any moment?

If you are a mother (or father), you know what it is like to have your child grab your hand. When my Addie grabs my hand, it fills me with love and that protective feeling, but it also sends me a message. That message can be:

  • I'm taking your hand because I want you to steady me as I twirl around. I'm so happy, but I know that if twirl without holding your hand I'll lose my balance, fall, and my happiness will be gone.

  • I'm taking your hand because I want to spend time with you.

  • I'm taking your hand and pulling you close because I feel like giving you a sudden squeeze of love.

  • I'm taking your hand and hiding behind you because I'm nervous, and I know you'll keep me safe.

  • I'm taking your hand and showing you what I want. It is in a place I can't reach, but you can.

  • I'm taking your hand and showing you what I need. You are strong enough to open the door to the refrigerator to get me the milk that is necessary for my health, growth, and development.

  • I'm taking your hand and trying to climb up your leg so you will hold me. I'm sad right now because I have gotten corrected, fallen and hurt myself, or didn't get my way, and I need you to hold me, comfort me, and show me that everything will be all right.
  • I'm taking your hand so you can hold me because I'm too tired to walk on my own.

Do any of these sound familiar to you in the different ways you have of reaching over and taking a hold of God's hand? Doesn't it just fill your heart with love for a God who is so personal that He is always there with His hand?

"And the Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand." Genesis 39: 2-3

Having God's hand upon us also makes others stop and take notice that what we are capable of doing and accomplishing is because of His hand. It is important that we direct the glory to Him as well. Think of Joseph in the Old Testament. God's hand upon his life was very evident. His employer (master) saw the hand of God on him. Everything that he did prospered because God's hand was upon him. Have you known anyone that it just seemed like everything went their way? Could it really have been that (if that person was a believer) the hand of God was upon him/her? My mother was one of those people. Anything she did or tried prospered. But she was a woman who constantly sought after the heart of God.

As part of my daily prayer time, I ask for God to keep His hand, hedge, and shield of protection over our family. I also pray this specifically over Brian being that he spends a lot of time on the road driving between jobs. I cannot tell you how many times God has protected him from accidents. For example, on his way home one day a few yearsack, God alerted him to a rig that had a canoe on it. The bungy holding the canoe down was loosening. Brian said he didn't know what caused him to look over at the canoe except that it was God. When he saw the canoe starting to lift, he purposely managed to get into the middle of the two lane road, between the canoe rig and the other vehicles behind him, and slow down. The drivers behind him were pretty upset until the canoe became airborn. It did not hit his vehicle or any of the other vehicles, but it did land a few feet in front of him.

Several years ago, my mother and father were taking my grandmother (Mom's mom) to the bus station before the sun came up so she could travel back to her home in south Florida. As my dad was driving, he suddenly saw the reflectors on the side of a flatbed truck sticking out into the road. It had large metal rods of some kind protruding from it in my father's lane. His only option was to go straight or swerve into the left lane, but the vehicles in that lane were blocking him in (he was driving at the speed limit but was going too fast to stop in time). My parents and grandmother thought they were going to die that day. My father reached his hand over to shield my mother in some way, and they literally all closed their eyes. As they approached the rods, they heard a swoosh, and that was it. They all looked at each other not knowing what to think. The only explanation they had was that the hand of God had protected them.

Does the hand of God only offer protection? Absolutely not! The hand of God also provides for us in times of need (like Addie needing her milk). And just like Addie, even though she knows how to ask for milk, sometimes we need to take God's hand and walk with Him right to our need in a physical way. It isn't that He doesn't know our need, but He wants us to make more of an effort than just expecting Him to jump when we call. When Brian and I first bought the house we are presently in, we had not yet sold our old house. We had tried selling it on our own for a few months, and then put it on the market with a realtor in October of '06. Houses were not selling because the market had just started its decline. We were paying two of everything (electric, garbage, mortgage, etc.). We were both working so the income wasn't a problem, but we really needed our old house to be sold for our own peace of mind (okay, so I wouldn't panic!), financial comfort, and because we wanted to start saving for a baby (neither of our employers offered any kind of medical benefits). My parents, sister, Brian and I decided to fast over our home. That was in the beginning of February '07. By Wednesday of that week, we had an offer on our home, and on February 28, 2007, we closed on the sale. Our house had been on the market for only 8 months, while others that we know had their homes for sale before we did and didn't sell until a year after ours sold. That was just one of the many times that we have seen the hand of God at work in our lives.

I encoourage you to reach out and take God's hand. Ask Him to spend some time with you, invite Him to your happy moments to steady you. Take His hand and tell Him you love Him. Take His hand for protection. Take His hand directly to your needs and wants. Take His hand when you need comfort. Take His hand when you are tired so He can hold you. His hand is open and waiting.


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