Getting dirty?

My friend, may I ask you a question? How are you using your hands today? It’s something that each of us ought to think about on a daily basis but we seldom do. Do they touch others in tenderness or push them away in strife?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

God has given us many ways to use our hands. Hands can be weapons and hands can bless. Hands can crush, push down and hinder, and hands can support and lift up. We use our hands to bless, to comfort, to deliver mercy or just deliver a wave “hello,” and we use the same hands to push others away, block their advance, even offend with an obscene gesture. When we employ our hands in the work that God has given us these hands can convey the message that the work we do is blessed and the results are hopeful; especially that we don’t mind at all if we get our hands a little dirty in the process. Or, if we choose, our hands can often convey the message that it really doesn’t matter how the work is done, that we aren’t interested in getting involved to the point that our hands become dirty doing the work. All that matters is that these hands move on to something else that’s more immediately satisfying or beneficial to our own welfare.

How are you using your hands today? It’s something that each of us ought to think about on a daily basis. Do they touch others in tenderness or push them away in strife? Are you willing to dirty those hands in the process because the work God has given you to do might require it?

Here’s a story from Melva Cooper. “My husband loves digging in the dirt. When the first breeze of warm air blows in the springtime, his thoughts turn to growing something. Tools to till the soil are brought out of storage and his lawn mower is readied to clip the first green grass that appears. Red azaleas, yellow roses, and pink begonias leap forth as he plants and spades gently around each one. Tomato, bell pepper, and cucumber plants make up “Granddad’s Garden”, a micro space in his retirement years. It takes a lot of hard work from the time they are put in the ground until fruit from the plants is produced for our table. He is a good worker and many days he can be found tenderly caring for the flowers, lawn, and garden. A ‘good and tender digger of the dirt’ is what his young niece calls someone who persists until the soil is planted.” (Melva Cooper)

2 Timothy 2: 15 states. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” How do each of us become “tender” in the work that we do, able to “handle” the word of truth with hands that aren’t afraid of the work that might be required? Often we rush into our work and complete it only as it suits us and not how it will eventually bless others. We skip parts of it altogether and brush over the important details in favor of saving ourselves time. Getting it done is often more important than doing it well. What kind of workers does God want you and I to be? God wants each of us to take our work seriously; He wants us to be tender toward it, always with a loving hand and heart connected to it. God started with something simple when He created us–the dust of the ground. He took the time to make something incredible out of something so very mundane. Our Heavenly Father gave us an example to follow–he got his hands dirty making us. Perhaps that’s the key to finding contentment in this life–you and I striving to keep our fingers in it, getting dirty, so that we might also become “a good and tender digger of ‘God’s’ dirt.”

We pray. Our Father in Heaven. You created each of us with purpose: to serve you and glorify you through the work you have given us to do. We know your intention was for us to get our hands dirty doing that work, but so often we hesitate, pull back, hoping others will do it for us. Forgive us when we are more concerned for what must be done, not what needs to be done. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

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God bless you for Jesus sake.

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