Word Filled Wednesday: Proverbs 31:20 “She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.” NKJV
It’s week 12 of our Proverbs 31 series
and I’m loving it!!! Thanks for sticking with me. So far we have seen that she rises early, works eagerly and vigorously, shops wisely, is extremely productive and she uses her evenings to get work done too!
In Proverbs 31:20, there is a feature of this beautiful woman pointed out for the first time – it’s “her hands”. Up until now, her hands have been furiously working sewing, planting, cooking and shopping. And here they take center stage as she reaches out to those outside of her home with them.
Look down and examine your hands. Are they young or old? soft or calloused? sun spotted? Do your veins show? Do you think your hands are beautiful? Often our hands are one of the first places to show our age – they have worked hard serving our husbands, children, and the needy. What a blessing it is to have two hands!
My sister Jennifer, once shared this story with me and it so touched me I wanted to share it with you all – she wrote it out for me here: ******
“P.S. Your Hands Are Beautiful.” This was what my in-laws wrote inside my birthday card at the end of their very nice note to me.
A few weeks before my birthday, I was at a family get-together, and something came up about “hands”. I’m not sure how exactly the conversation went, but I know that I made the comment that the one place I have started to see my body aging is in my hands. When I look down at them, which I realized is frequently during the day, they have begun to look different, older to me.
My mother-in-law said that the one thing she remembered about her own mother was her beautiful hands. I remembered her sharing about this before, and I believe that she meant more than just the outside beauty of beautiful skin with perfectly groomed nails. Those who had the privilege of knowing her mother, Louise Oliver, know that her life was one of active service to our Lord and that she did have beautiful hands because they did beautiful things for His glory.
When I read my birthday card with the message, “P.S. Your hands are beautiful”, the full meaning of that small statement touched me.
It reminded me of what Paul said to the church at Thessalonica. I Thessalonians 4:11 says, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anyone.”
These verses should cause us to look at the work that we do as women and ask ourselves, am I leading a quiet life?
Am I minding to my own business, the tasks that God has called me to do?
Am I working faithfully with my hands in my daily life as an act of worship to my Lord?
Is my work winning the respect of outsiders?
Am I bringing glory to my Lord with the works of my hands?
Would God think that my hands are beautiful?”
Dear Reader, Do not be discouraged as you toil day in and day out for loved ones within and outside your home. When we use our hands for God’s glory he is pleased. Look down and examine your hands now a second time with a new perspective. Do not judge the beauty of your hands by the outside – but rather by lives they have touched.
Walk with the King!
Ps. Your hands are beautiful!
Love this, Courtney! I often look at my hands and think they must belong to someone else for I am not nearly old enough to have my grandmother's hands … but I do … and they are not only her hands but also the hands of my great-grandmother. And I pray that my life will offer up the fragrant offering of living sacrifice as did my great-grandmother's and does my grandmother's.
Thank you for the encouraging Bible verse, the lovely photo, and the delightful devotional! As a Sandwich Generation elder caregiver, I definitely have well-used hands. I appreciate the encouragement and will share it with my senior mom who set a great example for me of using her own hands to bless so many! Thank you 🙂
Thank you for the scripture referrence to this. There is a photo of myself, my mother and her mother standing in the kitchen all holding our hands out…comparing the youthfulness of mine to the age of theirs (mind you, this was YEARS ago). When I think about this picture, I only think of age referrence and what kind of hand cream I should have started using to prevent my own hands from turning into theirs. But as I've gotten older and see that it's not about the age, I see a different picture. I see a picture of two women that have loved their husbands, their children and their church. I see two pairs of hands that have and continue to serve. Wow…now…I long for those hands. Thank you again Courtney!
Lovely……..there is something beautiful about old folks hands…mine are certainly not young ones but I long ago acted as a model for a lass who was learning how to "do" nails, extensions etc.
Oh they did look glamorous……but I got to long for the practical useful hands that I had been given.
Mine would benefit from some tender care…it tends to be when I think of it but my Mum cared for her hands and nails till 89.
But hers were also garden, washing, cooking, working hands.
She did take better care of them than I ever had…..but it is what they do that will remain, not how they looked.
This was so beautiful, I will always remember this.
Thanks so much for joining us this WFW!
Blessings to you♥
Beautiful reminder. I can so easily think of the outward appearance (of my hands) rather then the underlying reasons they were given to me (by God)in the first place. I can think of a couple of stories that come to mind in regards to hands that make me appreciate the gift they are to me – now how am I using this 'gift' in return?
This is beautiful!!! I remember growing up and how rough my own mom's hands were compared to mine. She was always cleaning and working inside our home and outside. She was such a hard worker and still is! I also remember thinking "I hope I never have hands like that!" Looking at my own hands now they are older,rougher, my nails aren't long and pretty but that is strangely ok now. Funny how our perspective changes;-)
A few years ago, I remember kneeling and praying at my grandmothers death bed in the nursing home. She was unconcious (from all of the drugs to keep her pain at bay). I remember her hands. She always had such beautiful hands. Long beautiful (natural!!) nails and her hands, although wrinkled, were so soft. I will never forget holding them while I prayed for her. For so many years she lovingly used those hands to care for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She used them to create warmth as she crocheted her love for each us into an afghan. Oh how I miss her, what a blessing to remember her this way today. Thank you.
I learned to be thankful for my sun-spotted hands when I began to have problems with my health, for the wrinkles and spots and dry cuticles show I am still able to work in our gardens, lift our grandchildren, and hold hands with my husband as we go to sleep at night. Thank you for this wonderful post!
Wow, my mom just sent me a note last month stating asking us to look at our hands and see who the resemble in our family. She is very observant that way – knowing exactly whose hands each of her kids, grandkids, neices, nephews, sisters and brothers look like! I had to send this on to her! Love it! Thank you.
Oh, the beautiful hands of those who fill the needs of His people.
When I attended my grandmother's funeral this past December, I remembering looking at her hands. She was lying so still, so peacefully, now that she was with Jesus…just like she was sleeping. Then I thought,
HER NAILS LOOK BETTER THAN MINE!!
Have to admit, I was a little jealous. But her hands were more than physically beautiful; they were hands that had often been clasped together in prayer for me, prayers that kept me safe from the worst possible consequences of my foolish behavior as a college student. She'd spent time knelt in prayer for me… so I bet her KNEES were beautiful, too!
Thanks for the encouragement today, Courtney!
"Oh be careful, little hands, what you do!" (or don't do!) 🙂
Thanks for posting the Redeemed button, too – truly appreciate it so much.
Woops – that last one was me. It thought I was being anonymous. 😉
Just beautiful Courtney! Thanks for sharing. I have always heard of the analogy of beautiful feet, and never thought about my hands, in light of eternal value and purpose!
God Bless You!
I LOVE this!!! I hope I never look at my hands the same way again:)
I AM A NURSE A GARDENER AND A MASSAGE THERAPIST SO BETWEEN THE 3 PRECIOUS ROLES ONE CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT MY HANDS ARE LIKE …. BUT I AM VERY GRATEFUL TO MY LORD AND SAVIOUR THAT I AM ABLE TO USE THEM FOR HIS GLORY !! P.S. PARAFFIN WORKS WONDERS AS WELL AS DOES OLIVE OIL !!