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Just Reach Out Your Hand

Article By: Darrell Greene

Pastoral Care and Counseling

Cornerstone Conference IPHC

Sometimes it’s hard to ask for a helping hand. We would much rather appear to be self sufficient and without a weakness of any kind. But isn’t it interesting to note that Scripture presents a totally different view on that.

God spoke to the apostle Paul regarding a weakness in his own life saying in

11 Corinthians 12:9,” My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Now listen to Paul’s response,” Therefore I will boast gladly in my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.” Paul is not advocating a public display of all of his problems and short comings in life. He is saying, however, I know how to ask for help. I am aware of my weakness and I am not ashamed or afraid to ask for help, especially from the Lord Jesus who is my very present help in time of need.

There are also Godly people whom the Lord has gifted and placed in our pathway to help us with our weaknesses. While it may be challenging to expose our vulnerabilities to a few select confidants who can assist us when the load is too heavy, the consequences of remaining unattended can be disastrous. We must learn how to reach out our hand, to ask for help, to trust God and to trust others who are available and appointed by God to help in our distress. Going it alone is not wise, healthy, or even Scriptural. We may end up in a dark cave of despair as was the case with the great prophet Elijah. He felt like he was alone and that everyone else was out to get him. What a distorted view of reality! God responded, “I have 7,000 more who are facing some of the same struggles as you. What are you doing here, Elijah?”

I remember an occasion recorded in all three synoptic gospels where Jesus confronted a man with a withered hand in the synagogue on the Sabbath day. Notice the questions Jesus asked to those who were watching close by. ”What is lawful or the right thing to do on the Sabbath day, to save life or destroy it?’ Then he gave command to the man in need…” Stretch out your hand.”

Can I paraphrase without harm to the text? Jesus said, “Reach out your hand.” The man with the withered hand might have replied. “Jesus, I try to keep it hidden. I am so ashamed of it. People shun me because of it. I am so embarrassed. What will others think of me?” But Jesus insisted, “Reach out your hand.” And when he did, it became whole. So two questions beg to be asked in light of this healing. The first is…will you stretch out your hand? Will you ask for help? The second is even more important…who will you reach out to? Certainly Jesus is first, but there can be a host of heavenly helpers who stand ready to respond in love, grace, and healing. Don’t go it alone. Just reach out your hand. A miracle of healing and recovery is waiting for you.

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