With a mighty hand and outstretched arm; His love endures forever. (Ps. 136:12)
A visiting pastor shared that he felt it was important to have his congregation hold hands during closing prayer. He did not always have such a conviction about this gesture, but after one service a visitor came up to thank him. She was a single woman living alone, and confided that that evening was the first time anyone had touched her in a week. Though she was a Christian and knew God was with her always, she naturally longed for human contact.
The psalmist used physical metaphors for God's incomprehensible attributes. He referred to God's “mighty hand” and “outstretched arm” because we have an idea of how a strong fist or a muscular arm could protect us. These are effective images, but God is a limitless spirit. Why is it easier to be convinced of our safety or our value when someone who is physically present reassures us? Why does the physical, which is finite, seem more real and secure than the spiritual, which is unbounded?
God gave us a need for human contact. The church must set a clear example of love for one another and for the lost, because we can provide that needed physical representation of God's love. However, we must press past a simplistic view of God's love and remind one another that his spiritual love and power are beyond anything we experience on earth.
Look for opportunities to demonstrate God's love to others.
Debbie Shaw is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and resides in North Carolina with her husband, Lee. She enjoys gardening, painting, reading, and coffee.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.