“He’s got the whole world in His hands”

I would sing throughout my childhood at Sunday school. Even now, I find that all too familiar song flooding back into my memory. It got me thinking about hands. The position of my hands have often depicted the posture of my heart. What my hands are doing help describe the season I am walking through.

Earlier this year, I had the great joy of serving on staff at Youth With A Mission in a Discipleship Training School. Hours were spent in preparation for the school, and my hands were constantly sweating—nervous of the responsibility set before me and the insecurities that had surfaced as a first time staff member.

Once the school began, the things I had previously held tightly to vanished as I walked and learned alongside such incredible people. When dealing with circumstances beyond my reach, the Lord was teaching me to lift my hands high in praise, trusting Him with the course of the school and the students’ lives. But did I trust Him with my own?

Then it happened. The trial that would cause me to lean on the Lord with every ounce of my frail being. Ten days were remaining until I was to lead an outreach team to South Africa. The team and I could not have been more excited for this new journey we were about to embark on, when my health unexpectedly spiraled downwards.

My hands were folded, seeking direction amidst the chaos.

My hands were folded, seeking direction amidst the chaos. I was torn every which way, fearing that I would fail the team, disappoint my fellow staff, and show that I really was not as strong as I had hoped. Although it took us by surprise, the Lord faithfully orchestrated the transition process that followed, as the decisions for me to return home and the rearrangement of the team’s leadership were made.

Heart-wrenched and weak, I arrived home as the rest of the school dispersed into the nations. Feeling stripped of security, future plans, and even confidence, my heart and hands were laid bare – hurting and questioning. Surely I am not the only one who has experienced this. Try as we might, there are situations we simply do not have any control over. As we are overwhelmed by anxiety and doubts, our hands naturally tremble. Clenched between our fists are fears that we know must be released to receive the glorious freedom the Lord has for us… but quite frankly, sometimes we just don’t want to let go.

 In this quiet place of trust, I began to find peace.

When I was bedridden, I would pull the blankets above my head, attempting to cover the emptiness inside. Aching for answers of some sort, I cried out to the Lord week after week, “What is my purpose in this place? How am I fulfilling anything or expanding the Kingdom?” In this desperation, the sweet, loving Maker met me. He gently invited me to take hold of His outstretched hand. In this quiet place of trust, I began to find peace.

Quickly I realized I could not do this life apart from Him. Regardless of where we are or what season we find ourselves, we are meant to be in fellowship with Him. I desire for a heart fully surrendered to the Lord, using my hands as an instrument to give, serve, and pour out love that I first received from Him. He began to show me what this looks like through my personal trial, but also in the examination of others’ lives.

Hands that give.  Hands that were pierced for me.

I thought about the widows I met in Mozambique last year and their hands. Hands that have held dying loved ones due to severe sickness. Hands that have been folded across their lap for so long. Hands that work in the garden. Hands that serve. Hands that still manage to wave high in the air proclaiming, “Alleluia! Amen!” I was amazed. And then, I thought about Jesus and His hands. Hands that touched a man with leprosy who was then immediately healed. Hands that broke bread among disciples at the Last Supper. Hands that lovingly embrace children. Hands that give. Hands that were pierced for me.

From the beautiful women in Mozambique to you and me, the world needs His guiding hands. We should continuously examine what His hands did and what they currently do—holding our lives and all our ways. In reading His promises found in the Word, we see how His loving hands so accurately reflect the heart He has for us.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

It is relieving to realize it is not by our own strength or doing, but God Himself. I believe the Lord longs for people whose hearts and hands are postured in a way that is joyfully surrendered to Him regardless of circumstance. At the end of the day, may we still sing with trust and confidence that, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”

Erika Spitler
has the desire for traveling the soils of the earth and loving on people of all nations. She finds purpose and deep hope in her Savior, Jesus Christ. A few of her favorites include living in community, dancing everywhere she can, and writing to encourage individuals to embrace the life they have been given.