In the midst of the Reformation, the Pope made an attempt to tame “the wild boar that had invaded the Lord’s vineyard.” In order to bring Martin Luther back to the Catholic Church, a Cardinal from Rome was dispatched to buy the Reformer’s repentance with gold. But soon after the Cardinal reported back to the Pope, “The fool does not love gold.” Losing patience with this theological thorn in the side, the Cardinal said to Luther, “What do you think the Pope cares for the opinion of a German boor? The Pope’s little finger is stronger than all of Germany. Do you expect your princes to take up arms to defend you – you, a wretched worm like you? I tell you, no. And where will you be then?” Luther’s reply was simple and steadfast, “Where I am now. In the hands of Almighty God.”
In the light of our story it is a wonderful thing to live life in the palm of God’s mighty and merciful hands (Isa. 49:14-16). It is a beautiful thing to face each day knowing that God has things in hand (Psa. 145:16; Isa. 48:13). Life is not governed by the cold hand of fate, but by the nailed-pierced hands of a living and loving Creator. The Bible tell us that our times are in His hand (Psa. 31:15); our success is in His hand (Neh. 2:18; Ezra 7:28); our eternal security is in His hand (John 10:28-29); our leaders are in His hand (Prov. 21:1); life and death is in His hand (Job 12:9-10); the future of the Church is in His hand (Rev. 1:19-20); and our every movement is in God’s hand (Psa. 139:7-10). The Christian is in good hands!
Yet, the temptation that comes to each one of us in life is to take things in hand in a way that dishonors God, believing that we are the master of our own fate and the captain of our own souls. Whether in the pursuit of success, or in the management of a crisis, we can quickly believe we are the deciding factor in achieving the right outcome in life. But that is a mistake. We need to remember that a little bit more of God makes up for a great deal less of us. We need to remember to be still and know that God has all things, all the time, in hand (Psalm. 46:10). Nothing is out of control that seems out of control. The words “be still” literally mean “to drop your hands, to take your hands off, to relax.” In other words, when we have done what our hand finds to do, and done it to the best of our ability, we need to take our hands off of life’s situations, and permit God to take over, remembering we are in good hands. His hand is bigger and better than ours (Deut. 7:17-19; Psa. 89:13).
In his book This is the Life, Warren Wiersbe has some very helpful words on this matter of being still. He writes, “. . . we must remember three orders given in the Bible: ‘Stand still’ (Ex. 14:13), ‘Sit still’ (Ruth 3:18), and ‘Be still’ (Ps. 46:10). If we ‘stand still,’ God can go before us and prepare the way, as He did for Israel when they crossed the Red Sea. If we ‘sit still,’ God can work for us and accomplish His perfect will, as He did for Ruth. If we will ‘be still,’ the Lord will be our refuge and strength in times of trouble, and everything will work out for His glory and our good.” Amen and amen!
Remember today, in whatever you face, that you are in exceptionally good hands! Having done your duty, take your hands off the situation and leave the outcome to God.