Palm Stretched Out

Hands are interesting things, aren’t they?

Five fingers. A palm. Some knuckles. 

Perhaps some arthritis, maybe fancy nails, turn them over and you might see calluses. Maybe there are short fingers, long fingers, curved fingers. 

Maybe the hand isn’t even a hand at all, perhaps it’s a foot that functions in the place of a missing hand. Or it could be a small hand wrapping around the finger of a parent, or an aged, shaking hand tenderly touching a child’s face. 

But hands have a divine purpose, don’t they? They reach to those things or people around us. They take hold of loved ones, help those in need, lift, carry, write, grasp, pull, play, tickle. They become a comfort for a friend when words aren’t enough. 

They become the overflow of our hearts.

I have recently been studying through the book of Luke and in chapter 5 Jesus heals a man with leprosy. Now, if you have read the book of Leviticus, you know the Laws the Lord gave to Moses concerning skin diseases. Those deemed unclean were to live outside the camp and were not to come into contact with others. In fact, they were to call out, “Unclean!” from a distance as a warning to others (Lev 13:5).  In other words, no one is to touch this person who is deemed unclean. 

Now I want you to join me in looking at Luke 5:12-13. Here we will see Jesus moving, reaching out, and touching with His hand. 

“While He was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged Him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him.” (ESV). 

Suddenly, everything is changed. Jesus, the Son of God, is reaching out to touch one who is deemed unclean. Now you might see where I’m going with this—you are unclean, I am unclean, but when the hand of Christ touches us, suddenly we are made new. But there’s more. 

His hand is always reaching out, ready to hold, ready to pull you closer, ready to touch your heart—that you might then reach others. 

Do you feel the need to be held today? I do. 

It’s been a pressing need for the last week, a sort of lingering in my heart that is beginning to grow fearful. Yet, what does God say in His Word? 

“fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” –Isaiah 41:10

Therefore, not only is Christ reaching out to you, He is holding you. 

Today I need to experience this, I need to feel His touch in my heart. It is easy to get discouraged, but know this—Jesus reaches out to you. Why? For it is the overflow of His heart of love. 

Now take a moment to read through this passage of Scripture. 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor 13:4-7, ESV)

But if God is love, then Christ is love. And therefore we can read through that passage again, replacing the word love with Jesus. Do you see how it changes? Do you feel the power of the man who sacrificed His life for yours? For mine?  

With a final reach, Christ’s hand was stretched on a cross, a nail driven through the palm. And what He had done by touching a man with leprosy, He completed for all with the final reach of both hands, spread wide, accepting a nail as His blood was offered for ours. 

It then says in 1 Cor 13:8, “Love never fails.” (NIV). 

Christ never fails.

My prayer for you today is that you would hold onto Him. That you would feel His touch upon your heart. For His hand is the outpouring of His love for you, His hand was nailed to a cross for you, and His hand is reaching for you.

His love never fails. 

Meaghan Rauscher
Women’s Ministry Assistant