I talk with my hands

Posted: 4th March 2011 by iBarnabas in Growing Deeper

In the fall of 2005 something very important happened in my life. At a church men’s retreat I had a guest pastor speak a word of God over me. That may sound a bit odd to you but wait till you hear what he said because that’s really odd.

I have lived most of my life entering into things through the back door (verses through the front door). All of my jobs up to that point we all because of some relative that had a friend or something like that. My churches were all my parent’s or my wife’s parent’s churches. My roles at my last church; small group leader, tech support, men’s ministry leader, and even as part of the leadership were gained by being there and available and saying, “yes” more than something I wanted and sought after.

At this Men’s retreat that pastor prayed over all of the guys. When he got to me he said that God wants to bless me but he can’t because I have my hands stuck down deep in my pockets. The word was, “get your hands out of your pockets and accept the blessings of the Father!”

Odd right? Not really.

In Ecclesiastes 4:5&6 there is scripture that speaks about this condition of having your hands in the wrong posture:

5 The fool folds his hands and ruins himself. 6 Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

My hands were folded. Folded as in, “whatever happens happens. Whatever you need me to do I’ll do it. I’m not worthy of anything so I’ll just accept what life brings” entering life through the back door instead of the front door is a symptom of this debilitating condition. It’ll “ruin” ya.

The other extreme is two hands toiling and chasing after the wind. This extreme is the person who never has enough. Always reaching and grasping for more and more. Never happy and never satisfied. Honestly, I know some people like this but it’s so polar opposite from me, I just don’t even get it.

What the verse suggests is that never reaching for anything and just accepting life as it comes is foolish. (yeah, that was me with head drooped and hands tucked safely deep in my pockets). Likewise, grasping and striving for more and more isn’t the best place either. Instead, a single hand, extended as if to receive, is where we should be. ‘One handful with tranquility’

The trick to retreating from both extremes is finding comfort in your acceptance.

For the pocket stuffers, like me, it’s accepting that God loves you and desires to bless you. He wants more for you and from you. So get your hands out of your pockets and prepare yourself to receive his love and tranquility. For those grasping and toiling in life, it’s about accepting that God has what you need to be happy. Something both more and less than the life you grasp for and never achieve. Less than you think you need to be happy and more of true satisfaction. To you he says, “slow down. Take a breath and relax. Extend your hand and allow God to fill you with what will truely satisfy. “One handful with tranquility.”

Where are your hands?

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