Stepping into this first month of 2021 feels categorically different than other years. It feels different because it is different. Twenty-twenty changed us. The crises we encountered may inspire us to ask, “How does our experience in 2020 affect the posture we take toward 2021?”
I chose that word—“posture”—carefully because I mean it literally. Here’s why. A dear friend of mine, who is also a therapist, taught me about a physical position that is sometimes used with clients in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The simple position is to sit (or stand) with your hands open, palms up, in a position of acceptance toward those things you cannot control. While this is a helpful therapeutic practice, I have adapted it as a helpful position for my faith as well. Whether it be prayer, worship, or work, I want to take a more intentional and accepting position this year. I want to move into 2021 with a more open posture, ready to accept whatever God wants to place in my hands.
As I considered this approach to the New Year, I wondered what God’s Word had to say about our hands. Turns out, the Bible contains quite a few references. Let’s look at a few.
“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands.” (Psalm 90:17 (NIV)
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10 NIV)
No matter what comes our way in 2021, we are always called to serve. God, in his favor, establishes work for our hands. It is not a punishment. Rather, we were “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” I also think it is beautiful that we are God’s handiwork, formed by his very own hands. Whether the stress of 2020 continues or lets up, he alone knew long ago how we were going to serve during this time. Consider who and how you can love others in this coming year.
“Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.” (Ps. 134:2 NIV)
To read on for more about our hands, link to the full post here.