On Friday I visited my uncle, who’s been in the hospital for a few weeks because of a bad fall. He was pretty beat up and also pretty out of it, what with all the pain meds and everything. He’d sleep for a while and then wake up and not know where he was and try to pull out his IV and other tubes.

He was awake for quite a while on Friday, and kind of in and out of it. I was standing next to the bed when he came to again, and he started to get quite agitated—confused, not sure where he was or what was happening to him. I was just standing there when he suddenly reached for my hand and held it. It seemed to calm him; he settled down and eventually drifted back to sleep, still holding on to my hand.

Ironically, just the day before I had been reading Isaiah 42: “I am the LORD…I have taken you by the hand and kept you” (v. 6).

Is it possible that, by holding his hand, I represented God’s peace to my uncle in that moment? It seems odd to think so: After all, I wasn’t trying to minister to him or actively pray for him or do any “preachy” things—I was quite literally just standing there. And yet, is it possible that God made use of me even when I wasn’t doing anything? It’s a humbling thought.

What I do know is this: God is there, standing right by our bedside, so to speak, whether we’re in the hospital or having a bad day or just needing a hug. God is continually reaching out a hand to us; all we have to do is grab hold of it—and trust that God is already holding on tight.

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