Hand in hand

Last week’s local paper carried the story of a seven-year-old boy who, shortly before Christmas, contracted meningitis.  He was, as you can imagine, seriously ill.  The doctors have saved his life, but only after the lower part of both legs, and both hands, were amputated. 

What ravages have been caused by the entry of sin into the world!  Satan never creates; his intent is always to destroy, to devastate, to bring to despair.  Only God can create, restore, renew.  Sometimes He uses disasters, difficulties and even evil things or people to bring about His purposes in the world.  In the lives of His children too He uses hard providences to shape us and mould us, as the potter with the clay, or, like frost on the soil, to make us more fruitful – but always to make us more and more conformed to the Lord Jesus until the day when we shall see Him and be like Him. 

But to lose your hands!  They can express so much: they can be thrown up in horror, lifted up in supplication, held up in warning, extended in welcome.  Yet I wonder whether what the parents of that little boy will miss most will be the feeling of a small hand slipped confidingly into theirs, for comfort, or reassurance, or just because.

David speaks of the Lord’s hand leading and holding him (Psalm 139:10); through Isaiah the Lord reminds us of the same glorious truth (Isaiah 41:10).  Peter experienced that literally when he walked on the water till ‘beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”  And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him...’ (see Matthew 14:22-33)  Somehow I can’t imagine Peter having his hands behind his back, or in his pockets, or full of things!  And what peace and joy must have replaced his fear when he felt the strong, tender hand of his Lord grasping his! 

So when I read:

For I the Lord your God will hold your right hand, saying to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)

it reminds me that, day by day, I can put my hand trustingly in the hand of my Saviour and walk with Him all the way home.


Hold Thou my hand: so weak I am, and helpless;

I dare not take one step without Thy aid.

Hold Thou my hand: for then, O loving Saviour,

No dread of ill shall make my soul afraid.


Hold Thou my hand: and closer, closer draw me

To Thy dear self, my hope, my joy, my all;

Hold Thou my hand: lest haply I should wander,

And missing Thee, my trembling feet should fall.


Hold Thou my hand: the way is dark before me

Without the sunlight of Thy face divine;

But when by faith I catch its radiant glory,

What heights of joy, what rapturous songs are mine.


Hold Thou my hand: that, when I reach the margin

Of that lone river Thou didst cross for me,

A heavenly light may flash along its waters,

And every wave like crystal bright shall be.


F J Crosby