… I am hopeful, because I always underestimate His hand’s extension.
This final sentence in a friend’s facebook status yesterday morning literally made my day. I found myself smiling and expressing gratefulness to God because, first of all, there was someone else out there who actually admits to underestimating the reach of the Almighty’s hand; and secondly, because I know the above statement is true. When the trials of life are pressing, many of us place ourselves in the position of thinking our heavenly Father’s reach is far shorter than it really is. That’s because we are so prone to forgetfulness. And in our forgetting, we lose our hope.
So today, I want to encourage you to hold onto HOPE by reminding you of a God who has proven His hand reaches exactly where it is needed. To do exactly what is needed. At precisely the right moment it is needed. Every time it is needed.
He placed a ram in the thicket and stayed the hand of Abraham at the altar on Mt. Moriah.
He placed an imprisoned Jewish slave named Joseph into the inner courts of an Egyptian Pharoah to save a nation (and his own family) from a widespread famine.
He rescued an Israelite babe named Moses, sequestered him in palace courts, exiled him to desert training, then returned him to Egypt to deliver an enslaved people.
He found Gideon hiding out in a grain bin, yet called him to become a warrior who led a handful of men in a triumphant battle against the Midianites.
He chose a pagan woman to leave her country and her people in honor of her mother-in-law’s God, and in so doing, Ruth become the great-grandmother of King David and a matriarch in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
He chose an adulterous murderer to be king of His chosen people and gave him the title of “a man after God’s own heart.”
He chose a pagan king named Cyrus to release the captives of Israel and establish the foundations of His temple.
He chose a Jewish orphan named Esther to become queen of the Persian Empire in order to save His people from annihilation.
He chose an ordinary man named Job to prove to Satan that God-given integrity overcomes human suffering.
He ordained a young man named Jeremiah to become His prophet to the nations.
He chose three Jewish captives to rise to positions of influence within a pagan kingdom in order to show the faithfulness of a God who both walks through and delivers from fire.
He chose a farmer named Amos to become a prophet and author of a portion of the Bible.
He chose a large fish to rescue a fleeing prophet from death and deliver him into His prophetic calling.
He chose a young, unwed girl to become the human sanctuary for His only Son to form and be birthed into existence on earth.
He chose a group comprised of simple fishermen, tax collectors, zealots, and a thief-turned-ultimate-traitor as His closest earthly companions.
He released a man held captive by legions of demons and commissioned him as an evangelist.
He took one boy’s lunch and produced baskets filled with fish and bread to feed a crowd of thousands.
He welcomed harlots and thieves into friendship with the Divine.
He breathed life into the lifeless form of a widow’s son, giving back a heartbeat so a mother’s heart would no longer be broken.
He mixed a concoction of dirt and saliva and used it as a means to give sight to blind eyes.
He embraced a cross in order to shock the world with immeasurable grace and make a way for mankind to be reconciled to God.
He turned a deserter named Peter into a man whose faith caused power from his shadow to bring healing in Jesus’ name.
He transported a disciple, defying time and space, in order to share the Gospel with an Ethiopian man of great authority.
He chose a persecutor of His people to become a missionary and martyr for the sake of His Kingdom.
He chose an undeserving, faithless woman named Barbara and calls her His Beloved.
God’s ways are unequivocally unlike my own. He chooses the path of suffering to bring joy; the way of hardship to bring peace; the way of the cross to show the way of salvation. Regardless of the challenges we are facing, despite the uncertainties of our time, and in the face of the ever-present unknown, we can be assured that our God is not silent. Nor is He neutral.
He is moving, even if behind the scenes, to position kings and kingdoms for the fulfillment of His will.
He is moving, Beloved, on your behalf. Take heart; be encouraged; and wait for the deliverance of your God. Regardless of how it may seem, the Lord’s hand is not shortened – you have His word on it.
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save… – Isaiah 59:1