Did you hear the story about the Olympic juggler who envied the shot putter his put? Wishing he’d been handed something more impressive to juggle than bowling pins, he stole the puts and after that his juggling never really got off the ground.

Stick to blogging and leave joke writing to the professionals, did I hear you say? Fair enough – but now you get the idea.

What’s in your hand? Each of us has something in our hand, whether we realize it or not. Some have a piano keyboard at their fingertips, others the keyboard of a computer. Perhaps you have a dental tool or barber’s clippers or a baby bottle. Whatever it is, it is yours and you are the one who holds both the gift and the potential it, in turn, holds for you.

Can you imagine being a musician, yet feeling jealous over the mixer held by the baker? Or knowing how to use the brush in your hand to transform a plain, white canvas into a majestic painting, yet envying the mountain climber for the carabiner in hers? Doesn’t make sense, does it? Then why, as God’s children, do we compare ourselves and wish we had the gift in hand that He chose to give another? As a writer, your knitting needle won’t do me much good, so there’s no sense in my envying your gift. I can’t control or use what you hold in your hand any more than you can, what is in mine. Each of us gets to choose what we do with the gift He has put in our hands.

So, what is in your hand? What ability, gift, or very practical tool you use every day is God wanting to use? The Lord is the one who gave us whatever gift or talent we have, and in order for Him to use it fully, we’ve got to hand it to Him! Not only hand it to Him in the surrender of using it for His glory, but in the sense of acknowledging that He is the giver of all good gifts. His ways are not ours, so as soon as you offer it to Him, not only will He use it in unexpected ways for His purposes, He’ll give you more back, in return. Because whatever it is you hold, that’s what He wants you to use. Naturally, as you use whatever is in your hand you will gain proficiency and become more comfortable sharing your gift.

The idiom ‘to hand something to someone’ means to give a person honor, recognition or acknowledgment for something they have done well. For instance: “You have to hand it to him, business has boomed since he took over the company.” It is seeing what someone has done and then saying that. Hmm… sounds a bit like what I’ve been blogging about these past weeks.

Now some may argue they don’t have anything of value in their hand. While I don’t believe this to be true, even those persons aren’t off the hook because God is happy to have you use your hands, themselves! The Bible is full of verses that talk about using our hands to praise and worship Him. There are others that display how we are to use our hands to serve or as agents of healing. Psalm 144:1 says God trains our hands for war and our fingers for spiritual battle. In Ezra 7 the Lord tells Ezra to use the wisdom and instruction of God THAT IS IN HIS HANDS to both judge and teach the people. Not everything we’ve been given to hold is tangible!

Have you ever had rabbits in your vegetable garden? Those adorable little furballs can eat a lot of produce! One of the kinder ways to get rabbits out is to chase after them, clapping your hands to let them know they are not welcome. Have you ever had attitudes or mindsets in your heart or home that you don’t want to take up residence? Fear, anger, unforgiveness are just a few of the peace robbers and joy suppressors that try to invade the garden of our soul – and figuratively speaking, they can ‘eat a lot of produce’, that is, the fruit of the Spirit in your life. Try clapping your hands in worship and prayer and telling them to go! You may be surprised what a little old-fashioned hand clap will do. Joy, peace, patience, kindness and all the other fruits will begin to grow again in your soul.

When our Father God created us to be His hands on the earth, He knew what He was doing. Today, lift your hands up to Him and offer them once again for His use. He will open doors for you and surprise you with all the creative ways He wants to use what He gave you to steward in the earth. And try not only using what comes naturally to you, but expanding your courage to try that thing you’ve always wanted to do or thought you might possibly be good at doing. After all, what He has put in your hand He did not put in mine. Each of us holds the uniquely crafted gift we are to use to display His goodness in our day to day lives. Practice will enable us to be grateful for what we, as an individual, have to offer and soon we will be speaking out what He says as we use what He has given. The Lord not only knows us fully and equips each individual with what is absolutely best for them, He is a creative genius; you’ve got to hand Him that.