giving up my right hand

Growing up, I found a source of pride in trying to stand out from everyone else.

An example of how ornery I was in wanting to be different: in second grade, we had assignment notebooks which we used to keep track of homework. Everyone had red ones, but for some reason I had to get a new one before the end of the semester, and I ended up with a blue one. Every time Mrs. Donar told us to “get out your red assignment notebooks,” I would raise my hand and say “What about a blue assignment notebook?” I liked pointing out to everyone that she needed to say something different just for me.

Finally, Mrs. Donar got exasperated, took a permanent marker, and scrawled “RED” across the cover of my notebook.

Along the lines of this desire to be unique, I always wanted to be left-handed. In my family, both of my parents are left-handed, as well as my sister. My brother and I somehow ended up right-hand dominant.

Despite the normality of left-handedness in my family, I knew it wasn’t normal among my friends and peers, and I wanted to be different in that way. I wanted to be cool and write with the opposite hand from everyone else.

I used to try to practice writing, eating, and throwing left-handed in attempt to at least be ambidextrous – however, my hand and my brain never caught on. My right hand was (and still is) completely dominant. It took me quite some time to even learn to shoot left-handed layups properly, and I played basketball for eight or nine years.

My right hand is the key to my success at most any task, so when I read Isaiah 41:21, it was significant to me how specific God is.

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.

My initial reaction was, “Why does God have to hold my right hand? If I were left-handed, it wouldn’t be as big of a deal, but I can’t do anything else at the same time if He is holding my dominant hand.”

In response, the Holy Spirit whispered, “That’s exactly the point.”

Just a few verses before, Isaiah 41:10, God affirms this:

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

It’s not about our strength while God is holding our hand. His right hand is free to protect us, work for us, save us. We cannot hold His hand and still attempt take care of ourselves – that is not exhibiting trust.

God wants to hold our right hand – the question is, can we let go of whatever we are clinging to and trying to accomplish on our own? Can we give up the use of our will and our capabilities in faith that His hand is more powerful than ours?

And if you are left-handed, please don’t be ornery and ask how this concept applies to you. That is so second grade.


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