Have you ever tried to do two different things with your hands at the same time? I mean, have you ever tried to have your left hand doing one action, and meanwhile your right hand is working on a completely separate and different project? If you’re a guy, it’s likely you haven’t. Even if you’re one of God’s amazing mulit–taskers we call women, you may not have pulled this one off yet. It’s too elaborate, too beyond our abilities. I’m sure with sufficient training, we could convince our hands to do one specific action separately. But none of us are able to operate in this way on a daily basis.
But last night, as I was speaking with one of our students, I realized that God often, if not always, works like this. Right now, in this student’s life, God’s left hand is working with a friend who is on the run. The friend was a close brother who shared the deepest parts of faith and joy with this student. But now, due to poor choices, is trying to run from their faith, their family, their friends, and their life. Yet God is working in this person’s life. As I and the student spoke about this joint friend of ours, our hearts were breaking in pain for them. It’s so difficult to watch an amazing person throw so much blessing and hope away for a shadow of control. We commiserated about the loss, the hurt of standing and trying to help, but being turned away. And we discussed how God was still active, always pursuing, always loving, ready to pick this person up and carry them home. God is working in their life, even though He is unwanted. We can still see God’s left hand in action.
Immediately following this, this same student told me of an answered prayer in his family. God is working with his parents, and they are making small steps of progress in faith. It is seemingly small to see, unless you have spent time and sweat in prayer over. Then this victory feels huge, as it still does to me today. Just the fact that this student’s parents are praying at dinner now is a quantum leap forward. A leap that would be impossible short of God’s hand in the matter. His right hand. God is stirring and working in this family, and will continue to do so, even though He has been uninvited for so many years. Hope is working it’s way through the soil, and a bloom is on the horizon. You can feel it, smell it, sense it, even though we don’t yet see it. God’s right hand is so beautifully at work.
So I walked into the parking lot last night to drive home, with this picture of God working on two very different fields, in two very different ways, at the same time. He is working with both hands, at the same time. Pain and joy. Loss and love. Fear and hope. Together, flowing from the same One at the same time.
God’s love for us defies description. We want to give up, to let go, to call it a day, and go home. Yet He works. So often, we see one hand at work, and label God by His hand. He’s Good. He’s Bad. He Cares. He doesn’t care. I’m Loved. I’m Left. We see so very, very little. Even in this case, we see two of the things He is doing, and I’m overwhelmed at the very thought. Yet what of the others. I mean, He is at work, actively, right now as you read this, in over 2 billion lives. Now. With both hands.
How can we doubt such a God?