The Stroke Of His Hand

March 2, 1998
by Mary Daniel

2 Timothy 1:6,7 – Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:14 – That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

My volunteering encompasses the whole spectrum of grief. The group I volunteer with lends our support to the terminally ill and their families and we assist whenever and with whatever we can. We are there through the dying process and afterwards. We do not choose who we wish to be with, nor they us. We are given to each other by the careful evaluation of our co-ordinators who are trained in matching families or individuals with an appropriate volunteer.

We are, at least I am, not perfect. We undergo an intense training session and are constantly upgrading with courses, workshops, reading and most of all, "hands on" experience. Most of us are there because of our own experiences, but that does not mean that we are always "right on".

Although I ask for guidance with each situation, every now and then through the years I have questioned my effectiveness. Am I doing any good? Is it time to "move on"? It is during these times when I pray my hardest for direction, for it is the lives of others whom I affect. And so it was this past week.

I tried to connect with two of my "clients" (a word with which I am not comfortable). There was no answer. Perhaps I had served my purpose, or, they wished to be paired with someone else. My friends, family and co-workers are always singing my praises but I had to know that I was doing what God would like me to do. Yes, there was self-doubt. I asked for guidance for whatever road my life should take: continue, or move on.

A series of events happened. The first client called; she missed me. Then the other one phoned to thank me for caring; he had been away. Sunday morning, a friend in a neighbouring province called to say that her elderly in-laws, who were holidaying 40 miles from my place, were in trouble. The mother-in-law had had a stroke, was in our hospital and they didn't know a soul. There was family to be picked up, put up, supported and comforted. I was only too happy to be able to do it. A few days later, our Daily editor responded to my devotional submission for February 23, in which I mentioned fearing for my daughters' safety, by asking me to read 2 Timothy 1:7 (quoted above) and to consider the word providence, a word rarely used these days. One of my dictionaries didn't even have it. My old trusty one defined it as divine guidance or care; God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny.

In the events of these last few days, I believe I have experienced God's providence. I need not have feared or doubted myself, for He cares for me. And He''ll care for you.

Prayer: Dear God, we thank you for your direction in our lives, for your answers to our prayers, your interceptions and guidance. We thank you Lord, for your providence. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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