“You hem me in – behind and before;
You have laid your hand on me”
God’s hands at work conjure up many images for me. They’re the hands of a father, holding his child close. They’re the hands of a deliverer, breaking chains. They’re the hands of a savior, nailed to blood stained wood. Though the pictures differ, I generally associate them with freedom. But when I look at these words I feel surrounded. It’s not that God has not given me freedom, but I think sometimes with His love, He confronts me with a reality check.
We’ve spent Independence Day weekend north at a camp in Prescott up in the pine forests. It’s isolated. No internet access, no cell phone coverage. No escape. Funny how in all this space I’ve been cornered.
My mind had been buzzing for days, with anxieties, angst and frustrations, decisions. I was seeking, demanding answers. I passed a slab of concrete with a hand imprint (pictured) and this verse came to mind.
He has laid his hand on me; he has left a permanent impression. It’s more than a God shaped hole; it’s his finger prints, the lines on his hand, his identity is impressed upon mine.
He has laid his hand upon me. And that deep impression means there’s a different way to look for answers. It’s futile and frustrating looking for them without him. In fact in this instance, I needed simply to look for HIM, the one who truly “completes me”.
Because he has laid his hand upon me, I am not my own. Though it sounds restrictive, legalistic, not free – it’s the truth. I am his. My call is not my call at all, my desires are not my rights. I’m not entitled to my dreams, no matter how noble. I want control; he wants obedience when life takes a shape that I cannot control. I want clarity; he wants faith built on his words to me. I want to make plans; he wants me for pilgrimage. I want success, he wants surrender.
I feel hemmed in, as though he’s asking who is in charge, who is following who? Is he my friend, or does he get to be my Lord?
God’s hands are at work, and it’s bringing me to my knees. Exactly where I need to be.