February 25, 2009



By Bob Yoder, campus pastor

Welcome to Goshen College’s Online devotional series for the 2009 Lent season! “Our lives are in your hands…” is this year’s theme taken from Mennonite Church USA worship resources. Our theme encourages us during the 40 days of Lent to follow Jesus more faithfully, knowing that our lives are indeed in God’s hands. Throughout the next five weeks on weekdays, 35 students, faculty, and staff will reflect on this as well as daily Scriptures and the seven weekly sub-themes: Teach me your paths; It depends on faith; My rock and my redeemer; By grace you have been saved; Whoever serves me must follow; Hosanna! Look, your king is coming; and, He has been raised.

Our lives are in your hands… A trusting metaphor, unless the hands extend from a suspicious stranger. A restful picture, unless the hands force their will and oppress those they get their hands on. A sense of security, unless it is from the latest corporate giant to collapse. A comforting image, unless the hands belong to a murderer.

What have been your “hand images” and how have they informed your own posture? I remember well those of two hands clasped together in prayer, two hands palms-up as an open gesture of invitation and two hands holding a resting newborn. What does it mean for us to place ourselves into the hands of a God who offers rest, comfort, challenge and encouragement with a posture of sacredness? Are you willing to place your lives in such hands?

God, help us to muster the courage to place ourselves into your hands. As we rest in them, show us the way of faithfulness and guide us in following Jesus.



Comments (17)

  1. To whom shall I turn, O Lord God! I place my life in your hands. I have been visited by evil. Alcoholism is shaking this family from its foundation. With my husband in jail, I trust in you. Others have found their wholeness in jail.

    Judith February 25, 2009 |
  2. I always appreciate the Lenten and Advent devotionals I read online from Goshen. They are almost always written by students, teachers, others much younger than I – it is good to get their perspective and to know that God’s spirit works through all denominations and different faiths.

    Sandra February 25, 2009 |
  3. I greatly appreciate the Lenton Devotions. It always brings another prespective during the Lent season and is something I llook forward to daily.

    Mike February 25, 2009 |
  4. In 1986, my mother was succumbing to her cancer. At the time she was the age that I am now, 57. The hands of God were present in so many ways, but one time that remains forever in my mind and heart was on a Sunday when I proclaimed the Word at mass and my voice broke due to the reading being very close to what was going on in my life — God’s hands again! After mass, people that I did not even know (we are a parish of over 4500 members) came up to me, embraced me and told me that they would keep our family in their prayers.

    Romeyn February 25, 2009 |
  5. I have long thought about writing a book about hands. I am encouraged by this message. When I consider hands, I think of my mother’s — always knitting, stirring, even putting on nail polish. All comfort, all secure. Thank you!

    Maureen February 25, 2009 |
  6. I find the image of hands comforting and think often of hands used for healing and supporting. Our hands are one of our most valuable assets as humans, and can be used for many positive things. Let us remember wisely that we may use them as tools to further our faith (through healing, helping, etc.).

    Sarah February 25, 2009 |
  7. I pray daily thatt I can let go and let God and place myself in Gods hands. I also pray that the hands He has given me, in turn carry on his work…
    We pray with our hands — in thought and word as we clasp them together or join with those around us— but also in our actions we pray– using our hands to open the door for others, cook a meal, write a birthday greeting or tuck our children in at night– in all of this and much more we praise our awesome GOD!

    Jean February 25, 2009 |
  8. God always presents us with his comfort just when we need it. The devotion and prayer were reminders that He will give me the courage to rest in him and to trust my life to him even through turmoil and challenging times.
    God Bless you at Goshen College

    Janet Graf February 25, 2009 |
  9. Great devotion- something to visualize and think about this first day of Lent

    Karen February 25, 2009 |
  10. For me, it is a continual learning and trusting that “God’s hands” are loving, gentle, secure and mean no harm. Thanks for speaking of and acknowledging that sometimes are views of God is not always comforting for those of us who grew up with a warped picture of God.

    Aisha February 25, 2009 |
  11. I was moved by Judith’s prayer for her family. I will remember you tonight Judith when I attend service. I hope you feel God’s presence and love.

    joe February 25, 2009 |
  12. After Christ walked beside me through a particularly difficult time in my life I wrote song about God’s hands. The lyrics still remind me of his touch on my life: “These hands took dirt and made a blind man see. Potter and clay they shape and change me. I reach out and your hand is there. Your touch, your grace, your plan, your abundant care. You calmed the storm and stopped the rain. You give joy and perfect peace in pain. Your love heals, me moves, me fills me…consumes me. All in your hands. In your nail scarred hands, you hold me.”
    From “All in Your Hands” copyright 2000.

    Mariah February 25, 2009 |
  13. I always appreciate the level playing/praying field that
    you provide for all staff/students equally during the advent beginning with yesterdays Ash Wednesday. I graduated from Goshen College 42 years ago and it is a
    real joy to touch base with current thinking and religious practices there. I particularly liked Sarah’s reference above to “our hands” as one of the most valuable assets which responsibility do the work of healing and
    restoring the harm that humans have inflicted upon others in the world and on our home mother earth from the origional Spirit that created her.

    John Hackman February 26, 2009 |
  14. This devotion really touched my heart, as about 2 years ago a husband’s strong hands became an abuser’s hands. though we are no longer together, that night can still haunt me, yet I can always find comfort and release from the memory in the hands and heart of God.
    May you all have a blessed Lent!

    Judith February 26, 2009 |
  15. When I am feeling down and/or can’t sleep I imagine literally lying in God’s safe and trusting hand.

    Julie February 27, 2009 |
  16. I just found this site tonite (Friday) and I am touched and grateful to have been led here during this Lenten season.
    Thanks be to God.

    Judes February 27, 2009 |
  17. The image of loving hands makes me see again my fathers hands, the size and strength. My mothers hands were caring, working, wiping, caregiving, praying. Both of these images built my culture and who I am. As a man over 50 I still gain strength from them. They gained strength from God. As I pray for strength and read the wonderful posts above, I take strength from all of you. I pray my hands may be strength for someone else

    Vic May 18, 2011 |