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HANDPRINTS: A Reminder to Rejoice

     My children are grown and have children of their own.   The days of handprints on the walls, windows, and anything else that might have caught the fancy of my young children are a shadow of those busy child rearing years.

    I can’t tell you how many handprints I’ve wiped off the surface of almost everything in our house, but would like to have a dollar for each one.   From tiny baby hands to those of teenagers, each spoke volumes about the child who left their imprint in sometimes the oddest places.   Like the kitty cat drawing on the dining room wallpaper, the hardened spaghetti sauce under the kitchen chairs, or the hand prints on the drop ceiling in the stairwell, each print was reminiscent of something going on which spoke of busy lives filled with hope and expectation.  It was a wonderful time.   I look back with fond memories at the ups and downs we experienced as a family and how God saw us through by strengthening us with His power and grace. 

Loving Handprints

     More recently I found myself searching for handprints to remind me of someone very dear to me.   In November of 2009, my sister, and best friend, was diagnosed with recurrent breast cancer.   After 15 months in remission, the disease returned with a vengeance.   On January 1st in the year 2010, my sister went home to be with the Lord.   She was my only sibling.   Because we were very close, adjustment to every day activities without my sister has been difficult.  Just as the handprints of my children were reminders of the memories we’ve shared over the years so were my sister’s handprints.

     My home is filled with memories of the wonderful sister and friend she was to me.   From the hand-picked Hallmark cards to the thoughtful gifts, I can find reminders of the wonderful relationship we enjoyed in almost every room of my house.  My photo albums are filled with pictures of the wonderful times we shared laughing and sometimes crying together.  These are the memories I hold dear and are a source of comfort in those moments when the loss seems almost too great to bear.  In the midst of all that has happened, God’s handprint has overshadowed the things our natural eyes failed to see.

God’s Handprints  

     In the final week of my sister’s life on earth, God gave us some very precious moments together, one of which was a time of worship we shared from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Sunday morning, singing my sister’s favorite songs.   Although her voice was too weak to sing out, her lips mouthed the words without hesitation and her toes gently tapped the footrest of the bed.   There were many other moments we shared in that hospital room.  Perhaps the most notable evidence of God’s hand was the incredible peace we all sensed.

Handprints: A Reminder to Rejoice Always!

     The scripture says in Philippians 4:4-11 Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again; Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you (NIV)

    Whatever you are facing in your life today, I want to encourage you to obediently put into practice the mandate found in Philippians.   Our rejoicing is not limited to the good times.   Paul instructed believers to rejoice in the Lord always.   Choosing to respond appropriately no matter how difficult the situation will result in God’s incredible peace filling your life.  You will begin to see God’s handprints everywhere you look!  He is the dearest friend of all!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Ruth Van de Riet

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