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Oct 20 2009

Talk to the Hand

Posted by Mugs @ 8:36 am in Devotional

By Mugs Manry

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

I walked into the hospital room prepared to face the reality of the damage caused by my father’s stroke. The left side of his body was unresponsive, and he had lost the left peripheral vision in both eyes. He could not feel anyone touching his left arm or his left leg, nor could he pull up to a sitting or standing position because his left side weighted him down. Inside I felt devastated; outside I attempted to be helpful.

The rehabilitation doctor came in and worked with my dad’s left arm and left leg. Dad felt nothing and could not perform any of the tasks set before him. My discouragement increased. The doctor departed and the occupational therapist entered and helped transfer my dad to a wheelchair. Dad wheeled himself down the hallway using only his right arm and right leg.

Suppressing the urge to help him, I followed, listened and learned. In the physical therapy room, the therapist placed my dad behind a counter and had him work on pulling up to a standing position. She told him to use both arms and placed his dead left arm up on the counter. Dad attempted to pull up with his right hand and stand with his right foot. The left hand would inevitably fall down and unbalance him. The therapist picked up the left hand repeatedly, placed it back on the counter and told him to use both hands.

I wanted to yell, “Can’t you see his left hand is dead? What you are asking is impossible!” I stayed quiet, but it was difficult. After several therapy sessions, the therapist began to share an amazing stroke patient study. The therapists work and act as if the hand will respond. When patients talk to their hand and tell it to move, they recover ability faster than when the therapist talks to the hand or when no one speaks to the hand. Dad joked, “No wonder you put me in my own room, since I’ll be talking to myself.”

I understood now. The therapist spoke of faith, believing in what we cannot see. Dad could have faith, not in the hand, but in the One who created the hand. Faith is hard work and having faith without doubting, even harder. Yet, as the days passed, I saw my dad’s left shoulder lift, his upper left arm move, and his response to touch slowly return.

We all experience difficult times in life. We may want to say to the Heavenly Father, “Can’t you see it is dead? What you are asking is impossible!” Our Heavenly Father, however, asks us not to have faith in ourselves or in our abilities. He asks us instead to have faith in our Creator.

Dear Heavenly Father, my situation is difficult and overwhelming. I fear it is impossible. Yet, You are the Creator. Help my faith to grow as I focus on who You are and all You have done. Continue to work in my life and heart so I will have Your perspective in my impossible situations. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Application Steps:

Write down your dead or impossible situations. View those situations through aspects of God’s character and teachings. Focus your prayers on the Creator and all He can do. Pray for your faith to grow from “I do believe; help my unbelief” to “mountain move from here to there.”


Is your faith in your abilities or in God’s character?

Is anything impossible for God?

Can you view your situation with eyes of faith?

Power Verses:

Matthew 17:18-20, “Jesus rebuked the demon and, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (NIV)

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