Something I have learned over the years of ministering to people in pain is that there really is such a thing as a “therapeutic touch”. I now am accustomed to holding the hand of a patient in hospital when they are especially ill. Usually this is done when I pray for them. People whose time with us is short desire our company and to have their hand held. Such a physical connection does wonders for the person even though we are not able to define clearly why this is so.
When my son and his family were in Haiti for a year they went through the experience of the tragic earthquake. They allowed their oldest daughter, 16, to attend the medical clinic with them. I sent my granddaughter some suggestions on how to comfort the injured and dying while her father sought to address the medical needs which were so urgent.
What I included in my suggestions was the following. While you are with the patient hold their hand. Speak to them words of comfort from the Bible. Pray with them asking God to strengthen them and give them peace. I also suggested she sing Gospel songs to them as she has a fine singing voice.
In biblical times the idea of touching a person with your hand was considered an act of blessing the person. In Deuteronomy 34:9 we are told that Joshua the successor to Moses was “filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him.”
Also when you look at the healing miracles of Jesus He often touched the person who was going to be healed.
So when the prophet in our verse today said that the hand of the Lord was on him he meant to say that God was blessing him and looking after him. The Lord uses such picturesque language to convey tenderness and encouragement to us. We deal with a personal Creator when we approach God in prayer and seek Him in the Bible.
Sometimes it is difficult for us to understand how God can be both greater than the universe around us and yet personal to each one of us who seek after Him. We know the huge earth moving trucks in an open pit mine are very useful. But the driver has to climb a ladder 25 or 30 feet up to get to the control compartment. Such a large and powerful vehicle could never outrun a Porsche sports can on a race trace. Something big seems to be something clumsy in many contexts.
We could wonder if a God great enough to call into existence our universe and run it so well could possibly be interested in such small creatures as we are on an obscure planet. Yet the Psalmist assures us that God is very personal and draws close to those who seek after Him.
When God’s hand is on you the cares and pain of this life fade away and His presence is our joy and comfort. Elsewhere the Psalmist says (Psalm 16:11), “…You will fill me with joy in Your presence.”
The real secret to happiness in this life is not in acquiring the things of time. We can never get enough of this life’s goods to make us truly happy. What will make us truly happy is to know the presence of God in our life, to have His hand on us. It is surprising to visit the poorest nations in the world and see how joyful God’s people are. People who have nothing of this world’s goods seem to be able to sing like angels and be content with nothing but God Himself.
Can you say, The hand of the Lord is on me”? Do you find pleasure in His presence? Have you stopped trying to accumulate more things of this life and sought to have your Creator instead? Are you willing to lose all of this life’s pleasures if necessary in order to have your God? Will you pray to God and ask Him to give you His hand? He is so willing to bless you with His presence. All that separates you from God is your refusal to come to Him. Come to Him and come today.