The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Stretch Forth Thine Hand"
I have been privileged to shake Mr. Patterson's hand for many years.
My friend lives in the nursing section of a retirement community where we conduct services. He suffered a stroke many years ago, and cannot speak well. His right hand is weak and withered, and in the first years I knew him, he could only shake my hand with his left. However, God's grace and therapy through the years have helped, and Mr. Patterson now loves to reach forth his right hand and grasp mine as tightly as he can. Which, thank the Lord, is pretty tight!
"Then saith He to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other" (Matthew 12:13).
I count it an honor to shake Mr. Patterson's hand. I remember the kindness he expressed to an older gentleman years ago. Mr. Patterson seemed to take Mr. Holcombe under his wing as a friend, and as a helper. I can still see him pushing Mr. Holcombe's wheelchair down the halls of the facility, and I recall our shared sadness when Mr. Holcombe passed away. I also recall the countless services Mr. Patterson has attended as one of our most faithful congregants. And while he cannot communicate well with words, he does so with a gracious smile and the obvious sense of being happy to see us and to seek our Lord with us. "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD" (Psalm 122:1).
One day, Mr. Patterson will stretch forth his hand, and it will be "restored whole, like as the other." Perhaps in this life, if God wills. But most surely in the next. I look forward to that day, although I cannot imagine how tightly my friend will grip my hand! I thought of this yesterday when reading the concluding chapters of Revelation, and rejoicing that one day, as the song sings, "the trials of this life will be gone when we're with Him in Heaven…"
"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write, for these words are true and faithful."
Weekly Memory Verse
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.