I’ve long loved the lyrics to the song Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man from Galilee recorded by Elvis Presley and others. The chorus goes:
Put your hand in the hand of the man who stilled the water
Put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea
Take a look at yourself and you can look at others differently
Put your hand in the hand of the man from Galilee (Lyrics by Gene MacLellan)
I’ve remembered this song recently as I contemplated the Cross of Christ. Jesus Himself seemed focused on God’s hands. His last words from the cross were Father, into your hand I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46). Jesus trusted Himself completely into the hands of God, His Father—the same God He just moments earlier questioned about forsaking Him.
It was God’s hands that formed man and woman into being in Genesis 2. Our names are imprinted on the palms of His hands. God’s hand is symbolically reaching out to you, just as Michael Angelo represented on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Do you reach back?
I’ve been imagining myself being formed by the hands of God. It helps me connect to wonder that He knows me so intimately. As I ponder His hands forming me, I realize that He had a purpose in mind when He put me together. I was created to praise Him and to serve Him. He wants to use the creation He put together into me to touch, interact and serve other creatures He has formed. Considering the hands of God forming me, touching me, guiding me and holding me helps me consider how I can trust those hands more.
My children often resented the notion of holding my hand when they needed it most. They wanted to feel big and independent, like they could get away in a busy shopping center or around a busy street. I recall all out screaming protests at the thought of simply holding my hand. I wonder, Is that what I do with God? Rather than put my hand in His, am I resisting the offer of His welcoming, secure, warm, comforting hand?
Jesus kept Himself in the comfort of God’s hands. This loud cry from the cross also makes me think of the birth process. When a child is born, there are hands to catch them and welcome them into the world. Was Jesus showing us how we are born into heaven? Do you cry out, Catch me in Your Hands God, I’m on my way!
The hands of God form us into the creation that we are. His hands can guide and lead us as we walk on this earth (if we hold them). And, at the end of our days, we will be welcomed into heaven by the warmth and security of those same hands. I want to be like Jesus. I want to so fully trust God’s loving hands that even while I am still alive, I want to cry, Into Your hands I commit my spirit and my life. I see myself safe when I am in His hands.