“Oh, that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory, that your hand would be with me…” 1 Chronicles 4:10c Holman Christian Standard Bible
There is one rather peculiar fact about men. Well, there may be more than one depending on who is involved in the discussion. Anyway, getting back to the one peculiar behavior, we can do anything by ourselves! Just ask us and we’ll tell you! There are no boxes too big, no refrigerators too heavy, or pianos we can’t lift and move, basically we wear a red “S” under our t-shirts! Remember, just ask us what it is we can’t accomplish alone. The answer remains the same; we can do it all without help from anyone!
Ok, there might be one or two things that can prove challenging, and we may need to make a couple phone calls. Not because we need help! No. It’s because we thought a few friends might want to visit. If they just happen to be here when there are some big, heavy items to move, that is purely coincidental at best!
Ok, when did you finally give in and admit you couldn’t do it (whatever the it might be) all by your lonesome? Or are you still walking that tightrope without a net or safety harness? Interestingly, it’s only men who seem to suffer from this particular genome. However, since I am not privy to the amazing functions and processing capabilities of the female mind I shall refrain from comment. Especially as some of my closest friends are of that wonderful creation. As a matter of fact my best friend is female, for which I am eternally grateful on several different levels!
I have noticed as the decades pass, so does some of my Macho Attitude! Turning 30 was quite traumatic. It was when I realized for the first time I was no longer 18. I wasn’t as fast as I used to be, pulled muscles and strains took longer to heal; what I could have done even 5 years earlier wasn’t happening now! Then there came the change in my waist size. That was horrendous, to say the least, and each succeeding decade has had its own issues of infamy. That which was – is no longer, leaving me in the embarrassing position of having to ask help for things. Male ego, you just have to love it!
Jabez was way ahead of the learning curve; he went right to the source admitting he needed help. If he was going to be a good manager of the blessings he was asking God to give him, then he needed help taking care of all he would receive. No wonder God called him honorable. He knew what was needed and wasn’t too proud to ask for help, because Jabez knew it was too big for him. Whatever God chose, Jabez had figured out he wasn’t able to cope with all he knew God was accomplishing in him, for him, and through him.
Many of us grew up being told we would never accomplish anything. Some may have had that idea beat into them to the point of no return. As we stand on the outside looking into someone else’s family, it’s easy to make judgements based on what we think we see. Remember, what our eyes see can lie to us, and what our feelings say to us can also be a lie. Bottom line, we never know another’s story. What we might know is what they let us know, what may slip out, what we might figure out. Even then we will never have the complete picture.
Asking God to have His hand be with us is the only safe way to function in this broken world. We can’t ever trust we see enough to know what is real and what is illusion. We are only safe as we accept what God offers, life in Him. He offers life filled with His grace, mercy, passion, intimacy, compassion, and the Fruit of the Holy Spirit! The transformation God wants to accomplish in us is one of loving service. It’s the Love described in 1 Corinthians 13, the Love only God can create in us. Because the love of God is all about the giving self with no strings attached, with no agenda, with the hand of God guiding, supplying, giving all we need. Life is too big for us, the enemy is too big for us, but there is nothing and no one who is too big for God, nothing, absolutely nothing!!
Gabriel told Mary, “Nothing is impossible for God.” Catch that?
Nothing. Is. Impossible. For. God.
There are a lot of things too big for me, but there is nothing too big for God. In my own life, God is having to remind me several times a day of what He is doing. He doesn’t tell me the details, just lets me know He has everything covered.
The only way we have continued each and everyday is by God’s Grace and provision. As God is escorting me down through my past to put some closure on various issues, it has been quite draining. It has been one of those places where I needed the hand of God with me; I needed the hand of One who cared about finding the truth without leaving me alone as it is discovered. Having God’s hand with us is a sign we are never left alone to face anything.
God reminds us He will never leave us or forsake us, He fights for us, we are His! Think about your own family, and friends. Who wouldn’t you fight for? Which one are you going to walk away from leaving them to their fate? Honestly, you wouldn’t choose friends who couldn’t be trusted. Those friends of mine reading this post are those who have each others backs. This is just one facet of this diamond called the Prayer of Jabez, one of the most important. It reminds us we need help, we need the One who is bigger than the Giants in our lives. We need His hand with us!
I have experienced a personality change in the last two years. Actually, it’s more likely to have been over the last four years, about the time I became so ill with the bacterial infections. That’s also when I lost about three and a half years, just gone! If I remember anything at all about that time, it isn’t much. So, I transitioned from being a Social Butterfly into Cave Dweller, something I never would have believed possible. However, it is as real as the sun or the moon. It has made me aware just how much I need God’s hand to be with me. Because right now everything looks way too big for me. I’m supposed to step into a pulpit to preach in a month, something I haven’t done in two years. I am feeling rather apprehensive about preaching again, which is a new sensation for me. Preaching was something that was never intimidating, it was something several people had told me I had a gift for, and always something I had enjoyed. And now I am just a little freaked, ok, a lot freaked!
All of which brings me to this point, I have a great need for God’s hand to be with me always, but especially these days. I need God’s hand these days as I feel exceptionally vulnerable. I’m not talking about the honest-transparent-vulnerable. I’m talking about a vulnerability that leaves me feeling open to danger as I have never been open before. It may have to do with some of the past issues I am seeking to have healed. I don’t know exactly what it covers other than it leaves me definitely in need of God’s hand with me!
My life experience so far tells me there isn’t a moment when I don’t need God’s hand with me. As we walk through the valleys of the shadows of death, which are where our journeys on this planet take us, we are in desperate need of our Creator’s hand with us. It’s the same hand used to form our father Adam and our mother Eve. It’s the same hand that stretched out on a wooden cross, taking what was ours so He could give to us what was His.
I can’t think of any other religion where the god/being offers himself for those who worship and for those who don’t worship him/them. What more could you ask than a God who gives of Himself, and why wouldn’t you want a God who gives? Every moment of every day God seeks us out, offering us what we need, giving us the opportunity to choose what we want out of life. What other religion has gods who allow and encourage choice? The God of the Bible does. The only Real God wants us to choose.
Just as Jabez chose God’s mighty hand, so can we. Bottom line: Who will you choose?
“For You shaped me, inside and out.
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath.
I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe.
You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;
Your works are wonderful;
I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.
You see all things; nothing about me was hidden from You as I took shape in secret, carefully crafted in the heart of the earth before I was born from its womb.
You see all things: You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb;
Every detail of my life was already written in Your book;
You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.” Psalm 139:13-16 English Standard Version
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