Trinity Outreach Celebration Devotion
January 17, 2011
Strengthen My Hands
"But I prayed, now strengthen my hands."
What if God wanted you to step out of your comfort zone and join a group of (mostly) medical providers headed for a medical mission in Jamaica? What if you followed His call, wrote a nonrefundable check for over a thousand dollars within 24 hours of that call, and showed up for a meeting two days later?
It’s not that I had never considered going on a mission. I just had not ever felt ‘raised up and pushed forward’ like the Sunday after the 11:00 service when I committed to join the medical mission team going to Jamaica.
I was not convinced that I could or should be a part of the mission team, and I remember asking God if He really wanted me there. Those conversations you have with the Lord on the way to doing something He wants you to do often sound something like this: “Lord, there seems to be a good many people signed up for this mission. I think I must have misunderstood Your message. I’m sure I can just cancel out now, maybe even donate the airline ticket to someone who really should be here. Maybe the check won’t clear. What could I possibly have to offer?”
The check cleared the next day. I was going on a medical mission to Jamaica. I was going on a medical mission to Jamaica with a bunch of real medical people. What could I possibly have to offer?
Our team left Atlanta on a cold sunny day in early November and landed in Jamaica several hours later. The resorts along the coast do not tell the story of the real Jamaica just an hour’s drive into the mountains. Within 48 hours, we would begin to get a sense of just how poor the country really is. The overwhelming need was evident at the first day’s clinic, and at the end of the day I wondered how we could make any difference in the lives of these people.
The morning of the second day during my quiet time, I turned to the book of Nehemiah. As I read, I thought about the overwhelming task God had given Nehemiah. He was a regular man with an insurmountable task. I wondered if he asked God what difference he could possibly make. The walls of the city of Jerusalem were in shambles and the task looked impossible, yet Nehemiah didn’t ask God to miraculously raise the wall. He asked the Lord to strengthen his hands so he might complete the task that He placed before him. So that was my prayer that morning….Lord strengthen our hands to do Your work.
Life often brings us challenges that we never imagined we would have to face, and sometimes God’s miracle is the strength of our hands. Whether we are experiencing the overwhelming task of caring for the Jamaicans in the mountains of that country or facing devastating personal challenges of our own, we can ask our Lord to strengthen our hands to do the next thing. Our situation may not change, perhaps it will get worse, but in my experience, a prayer for strength is always answered. God’s strength becomes ours when we pray.
What could any of us possibly have to offer?
Today pray for ministries at ACE in Jamaica throughout, St. Mary’s Parish
Dear Heavenly Father, God of Heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and obey His commands, let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayers Your servants are praying. Allow us to bring hope and healing to those who need You most. Let us be examples of Your unfailing grace, mercy, and love, and above all, strengthen our hands as we continue to do the work You would have us do. In Your Precious Son’s name we pray…Amen.
“Perhaps this is how you know you are doing the thing God intended you to do: No matter how slow or slight your progress, you never feel it is a waste of time.”