“One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.”
–Mark 10:13-14 (NLT)
I don’t know about you, but I’m a hugger by nature. While I’m sure that my personality type has a lot to do with it, I grew up in a warm and affectionate home. While there have been dark days, I believe that all the touch I received as a child has helped to cary me through life.
The most effective touch I have received came from the hand of God, and He doesn’t just stop at touch. He has blessed all of us with the ability to touch others as well.
Before we discuss this gift, we must first discuss the giver. throughout the entire Bible, He displays the importance of His touch. Remember how the disciples were transformed by God’s touch? That same power is still available today, but since many of us don’t realize how necessary God’s touch is, we take it for granted.
Think with me for a moment about the miracles which Jesus performed, and how many of them involved touch. There were the blind people He touched, restoring their sight. Multitudes of people wanted to touch Him, because they knew Jesus possessed healing powers. There was also the woman with an issue of blood who touched His garment and became well again.
Unfortunately, our understanding of Jesus’ power is not much different in our day than it was in His own time. As we take one day a week to gather in awe of this man, we stop and are blessed by His stories, only to go on our merry way the next day. While our Sunday worship may be sincere, it needs to motivate us to serve 7 days a week. We can do this by sharing these blessings with others, as we use the gifts and abilities God has given us.
As I said above, I am convinced that God longs to touch us in similar ways. So before talking to that lonely person you know, you might say something like this:
“Father, I need your wisdom and strength, for without You I can do nothing. But I will move out, for Your Word says that through you I can do all things.”
Don’t feel anything? That’s okay. Jesus never promised us any sensational feelings after prayer. Instead, He promised faithfulness. He said He would never leave or forsake us, so we must cling to His hand in childlike trust as we cross the street of life.
After taking this first step, we need to venture out and ask God to use us. As we do this, we must also ask Him for creative ways to use our hands and feet to touch others.
By creative, I don’t mean new. You can be creative and actively listen to someone in silence. Conversely, you can serve others by bringing them a meal. However you choose to serve your neighbors, God wants us to step out in boldness, helping others with our gifts while experiencing His touch.
“I’m glad I don’t have to pretend to be Super Christian,” you sigh in relief. “I’ve never witnessed someone’s eyes opened at my touch or calmed a storm with my words.”
“Well, neither have I!” I say with a laugh, and that’s exactly my point. God wants you to just relax and be yourself, for no one else has your special gifts.
We are so geared towards the sensational that we often miss what God is doing in humble and quiet ways. He often works behind the scenes, and if we aren’t sensitive to His Spirit, we can quench His working. To put it another way, we tend to look for God in the spectacular, while he uses ordinary people most of the time.
Even though it is true that the miracles which Jesus performed were unique, we must not rule out the miracles that God can and will accomplish through us. The Bible states that He is the same yesterday, today and forever, so why is that a problem?
If you concur with this truth, I have another question for you: Why are so few of us willing to take His call seriously? Jesus said that He was in prison, sick, and destitute, and only one group visited Him. Then He continued, “As much as you have done it to the least of one of these, you have done it to me.”
This parable took hold of me in a new way one day, and I hope it will do the same for you as I relate what happened. I was sitting in a long and thoroughly boring meeting at the hospital where I serve as a chaplain. We were sharing tales about visitation when one of the ladies’ stories caught my attention. She spoke about envisioning a man in sandals ushering her into each patient’s room. I realized that she was drawing a word picture of Jesus walking beside her.
Her words cut me to the quick, and what Jesus said in His above parable became even more real to me that day.
On one level, I always knew I had the privelege of representing the King of the universe, but it hadn’t really gripped me. That day the Lord did a new work in my heart, and I treasured His companionship even more.
After that meeting, I tried to take my job more seriously. While I didn’t feel different, I was encouraged. The sense of duty I associated with my job was gradually replaced with one of honor. I learned that God’s economy was different than the that of the world, and that He can exalt what I formerly thought of as mundane work.
God wants to touch you too, my friend, so that we can touch this hurting world together. Let Him do this, and I guarantee on the authority of His Word that your life will never be the same. You may not think you have a lot to offer, but God can multiply the gifts you bring. So put your hand in His today, and you can truly extend it to someone else tomorrow.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.