The above title is a reminder of the commercial which tells us that we need to have insurance (sorry that it’s not your company, Dave). It’s a message of comfort that no matter what happens to you, you’re going to be o.k.
It also means that these “hands” actually care about you as an individual. They won’t let you go. I like that. It really is comforting to think that the $23 a month I spend for life insurance will take care of my family should I come to my demise. In this case though, the good hands didn’t really help me, they helped my wife and daughter.
I’d like to think that I’m in the hands of a God who won’t let harm come to me. A God who’s responsible and who won’t let me break my leg, get cancer, or have a major accident. As I write this, I realize Paul basically got trashed during his missionary journeys. The sinking ships, getting beaten with rods, a stoning, bandits, social rejection, poverty, hunger, thirst, exposure to the elements; yeah, God REALLY loved Paul (note sarcasm).
And, if he’d let Paul go through all this crap, is my physical well-being guaranteed? Look at the numbers of Christians killed at the hands of the Romans. Millions!! That’s not a very comforting thought. It’s really the opposite of the God we want.
Strangely, this is actually part of God’s plan (that’s an overused term). It’s true. God is not a private body guard; He’s a gardener. In fact, He is THE gardener. He created the first and most perfect garden that ever existed, the Garden of Eden. The hands that created that garden were the Son of God’s. Although that’s interesting, it’s more interesting to know that the second person of the Trinity made Adam “from the earth”. From the beginning, we have a God who likes to get his hands dirty (His lips, too, as he breathed life into Adam).
Humans like to get their hands dirty, too. Children make mud pies, castles and holes in the mud. Adults like to build things, garden, and even eat ribs. We dig, rake, prune, fix, spray, and sweep. In the end, we hope that all that work pays off. We want a stable building, a healthy garden or a clean patio. Dirty hands are a mark that we have done something good.
But they aren’t always a mark of something good. “Got caught with his hand in the cookie jar”, or “Got caught red-handed” imply that the individual has done something bad or underhanded. It’s as if the same hands that planted the fruit trees planted weeds. And we do.
We complain. We hold grudges. We manipulate others. We pursue our own interests and neglect our family. We instigate discontent among our co-workers or friends. We act out of spite. We employ guilt. We have busy hands, to be sure.
You and I have been caught with our hand in the cookie jar. But, it’s much worse than that. We have been caught destroying our neighbors, spouses, family members, and even those we only know on T.V. Our lives bear the rotten fruit of every sin imaginable. Just read the ten commandments and apply it to the heart, as Jesus did. Is there any sin I haven’t committed, even as a Christian?
And, we invent new “dirty deeds” every day. We steal from our boss by taking an extra 10 minutes for lunch, or working half-heartedly. We act as false witnesses when we lie about others. We worship false idols and blaspheme when we pursue our own interests and needs to the denial of others.
The more I consider these sins, the more I have. They are a garden full of flowering sins. Like the weeds, they need to be killed and uprooted. These are all of the evil works that I still continue in. I have made a mess of my life. But, believe it or not, this is a good thing! God loves to get His hands dirty, and what is dirtier than sin?
And He gets right in there. His hands are dirty all the way to His elbows. Correction, His hands are dirty all the way to the top of His head and the bottom of His feet. “He who knew no sin became sin for us”! The Jesus who washed the feet of the disciples has washed us clean through His blood.
And, He continues His work. The divine Creator is also the DIVINE RE-CREATOR! His bloody hands have been involved in pulling every weed as the nails pierced them. He has crushed the head of the snake from the Garden by his pierced feet. He has slain death by His death. Our lives are now hidden with Him.
Jesus the gardener is very busy. “He who started the work will be faithful to complete it in you”. Jesus is the perfect garderner who makes beautiful things. To Him be the Honor and Glory, forevermore!