Empty Hands

February 5, 2019

Taking the five loaves and two fish and looking up to heaven, Jesus gave thanks and broke them. Then He gave them to the disciples to set before the people. – Luke 9:16

 

Have you ever been in a desperate situation where there seems to be no way out? The bills are greater than your income? The fever keeps rising in spite of the medicine? He walks out with no excuse? The darkness has settled and nothing seems to lift it?

 

In these times, our first instinct is often to grab for something. A phone to call a friend, a bottle to These dead ends, when all seems hopeless, is actually the perfect time to look up, give thanks, and empty our hands.

 

Each of the four gospels tells the story of Jesus feeding a crowd of five thousand. Jesus had spent the afternoon teaching and healing, but as evening approached, they grew hungry. His disciples told Him to send the crowd back to the village so that they could buy food, for there was nothing to eat where they had gathered. Instead of sending the people away, Jesus tested His disciples, saying “You give them something to eat.” 

 

Philip calculated that it would take eight months’ wages to buy enough bread to feed a crowd that large. That was out of the question… no solution there. Andrew was skeptical, but he found a boy with five loaves of bread and two fish. It was a start, but but clearly not enough. No solution there either. 

 

Still, Jesus took the little they had, looked up to thank God, and gave the food to His disciples to distribute. It was in their hands that the miracle of the multiplication happened. Not in Jesus’ hands, but in the hands of his believers. 

 

We’re tested too. Every day there are endless choices of how to spend your time, money, and resources. Our hands are constantly in motion. But what if we paused, looked up to God with empty hands, and thanked Him in advance for what He was going to do in and through our lives? What if we gave Him our empty hands to be used for His purposes? 

 

Now rewind … Jesus started the miracle with thanksgiving. Giving thanks to God takes our mind off our tasks and focuses it on our creator. With our hearts and minds on Him, He can lead us in the direction He desires. We can ask a simple question:

 

God, what do YOU want me to do?

 

When we ask God for guidance, direction, and help, we make ourselves available for His work to be accomplished through us. 

 

You are a modern day disciple of Jesus. He wants to use your hands to help, heal, create, calm, and compassionately care. Will He find your hands too busy, or will He find them empty, with palms up ready to receive?

 

 

So ask yourself,

 

1. When? - Think about a time in your life when you hit a dead end or a desperate situation. What were your hands busy doing?

 

 

2. What? - What’s in your hands? - What’s one talent, strength, ability, or passion you could give to Jesus to benefit others? 

 

 

3. How? - How can you drop, let go of, or quit doing something that would free your hands up to be used by God?

 

 

 

The Power of Giving God Thanks Will Ignite Your Faith and Change Your World!

 

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