Monday, July 11, 2016
I saw a heartbreaking scene recently which reminded me of the importance of the human touch, which in turn points to the blessedness of the touch of God upon our lives. In fact, many times when I pray for people at the altar, I pray that they may feel the touch of the Master’s hand upon them. In the scene I mentioned, we were visiting a church member who had experienced several days of agonizing stomach pain. Though he had been in the hospital several days already, everything that the doctors had tried on him to relieve his pain had failed. Seeing him in his obvious distress and feeling helpless, as we all were, his wife just held him tightly, all the time kissing him in the forehead and crying with him. I’m not sure she was even aware of what I said, but I remarked that this was the best medicine anybody going through a period of pain, agony, grief, or despair can have. I trust that, even as you read these words, you too will recall a difficult time in your life when someone near and dear to you held you tightly and remember the peace and comfort it brought you.
These two lines in a song by “Casting Crowns” typify this truth: [“So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away / You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held”] I think the writer of this psalm understood this truth as well when he wrote: “Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.” (Ps. 94:17-18) He may have called it God’s mercy but I’m sure that in his mind, the Lord Himself was holding him in his arms. Elisha Hoffman, the writer of the beloved Hymn, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” apparently also knew this blessed truth. The first stanza of his hymn says: [What a fellowship, what a joy divine, Leaning on the everlasting arms / What a blessedness, what a peace is mine, Leaning on the everlasting arms.]
May we never forget that we, as God’s children, are often given the opportunity to administer the best medicine in the world, the human touch. As we often do, don’t worry too much about the proper things to say to those who are going through a time of pain, grief, or sorrow. If you just give them a sincere and loving embrace, you’ll be more of a blessing to them than you can imagine. And when you are all alone and going through such a time yourself, let your Heavenly Father hold you in His arms. Now, that, is really the best medicine of them all.
Memory verse for the week: (Deuteronomy 33:27) “The Eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”