Miles to Go: The Journey of a Lifetime

These Hands

For 29 years, these same hands that are typing this article, have worked hard. They’ve worked in factories, libraries, universities and stores. They’ve built things, and taken just as many things apart. They’ve held my baby, now fully grown daughter close to my heart, and they’ve held loved ones tightly as the end of life’s journey drew near.

They’ve held thousands of books, thousands of pieces of pizza, and they’ve held holy and cherished things. For almost thirty years, they’ve held the hands of my dearest and most precious friend, the love of my life, my wife April. 

They are strong hands. They are caring and compassionate hands. They are hands that are tough when they need to be, and gentle just as quickly. They are hands that for almost 40 years have lovingly caressed the keys of pianos and for the past 4 years, have lovingly caressed Dudley, my favorite cat.1

But now, as my heart pumps less and less blood throughout my body, I find that they are often cold and they don’t seem to have the same strength that they once did. I never thought, that at the age of 44, I would feel so old.

I never thought that I would feel so useless.

For the most part, I can no longer find work due to my heart condition. I can’t go hiking with my daughter up any of the mountains that surround me. I can’t play baseball, or go ice-skating or even walk very far when my wife wants to go shopping. I have to be left, more often then not, sitting on a bench, waiting for her to finish.

I never thought that I would feel so tired and lost.

And then, a wonderful verse in the Bible comes to my mind: “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.” Psalm 73:23,24

I don’t have to be strong. I don’t have to feel useless. God is holding me by the hand. He is guiding me and carrying me through the parts of the path that I don’t have the strength to walk over. Just because I am not what I was doesn’t mean that I am suddenly of no value. My heavenly Father still loves me enough to take me by the hand, and someday He will take me to be with Him.

These hands were once strong. They still are, because they are held by my loving Creator.

There is a song that I remember hearing when I was a child, and I’ve never forgotten the words. Are you feeling old? Are you feeling tired? Has the disease or illness that has plagued your body left you feeling vulnerable and useless? Then put your hands into God’s hands, and remember these words:

“Shop-worn and aged,
What’s left of a man.
Will never be useless,
If he’s part of God’s plan.”

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