RELAX INTO MY HANDS
It had been an extraordinarily stressful 3 months, & I was excited about finally getting to go on a beach trip. I was long overdue for a vacation, & though I had tried my hardest, I ended up working the first two days of it. My son & two of his 21 year old friends were with me, but of course they wanted time to themselves without “Mom”, which left me with some “alone time.” I decided to celebrate the two sales that I just made by booking myself a massage. Unfortunately, the night before the massage, I got little to no sleep, so I was even more tense than usual.
I had two professional massages previously. I remember back in 1998, when a client gave me a gift certificate for a massage in appreciation for my assistance in the purchase of her first home. Though I am by no means a shy individual, at that time, I was too modest to use the gift certificate. However, last year when I won a free massage as a door prize at a Chamber of Commerce function, I decided to give it a try. These are trained professionals, & there is nothing sleazy about it. I splurged on another massage a couple of months ago while on a weekend trip. The second one was not as enjoyable as the first one, because the young man did not appear to have as much strength in his hands.
As I went to The Club at the resort where we were staying, I was hopeful that I would get a strong, capable professional who could help work out some of the kinks in my back & shoulders. I was excited to find that is indeed who was assigned to me. I never disrobe all of the way, & they only uncover one body part at a time. After an exchange of pleasantries, I crawled beneath the covers on the massage table. I closed my eyes, and took a deep breath. Now, I like to keep my eyes closed the entire time, so I can more fully relax. Especially when you are turned face down, you can FEEL the massage therapist’s touch & sense his presence, even though you cannot see his face.
At times he wold gently but firmly manipulate one of my limbs into a different position. I began thinking about how the encounter with the masseur was similar to an encounter with God. Along with what I just stated above, when you get a massage, the therapist finds places that you did not even realize were issues. He did that the other day. Then, he began working to rid my body of the knots that were there due to stress & toxins. At times, the pressure involved was uncomfortable. Is not that how it is in our spiritual life? God sees things we need to work on, He sees places that are causing us to hurt, He knows that He has to apply a little pressure that may cause additional pain in order to bring us to a place where we will feel better, & to rid us of the problem. And some places need more work than others. Sometimes, we like the feel of His touch, but at other times, such as when that young man was working on that big knot on my shoulder, we would just as soon not feel it. The discomfort involved in a masseur working out a knot is something that we endure, though, because we know we will feel so much better afterwards.
This therapist was really strong & very skilled at his job. For the most part, he let me just lay there in silence while he worked. At one point he lifted my shoulder up off of the table to manipulate it. He said to me, “Please just relax into my hands. Do not fight it. Just relax into my hands, & let ME do the work. “WOW! What a great analogy,” I thought. That is what I need to do with God. I need to stop resisting his ministrations, & just relax into the hands of the greatest of all healers. I need to let HIM do His work! Of course, if you know me, that is easier said than done.
I left there feeling totally relaxed & refreshed. I think that young man did a phenomenal job! But that evening some tense moments with a dramatic situation caused me to get stressed out again. I had booked another massage as a gift for my son for the following morning, but he was unable to go. Since I would have to pay for it anyway, I decided to take his place. This time there was a young lady who was my therapist. She told me, “You are extremely tight!” (Meaning my muscles.) “If I did not know better, I would never believe that you had a massage the day before.” Right. That is me. Up very late worried about my son & his friend, making sure that they were back at the condo safe & sound before I could fall asleep. Unable to let go, I had to sit up, text, call, & worry until they made it back. Another instance of where I was trying to help God with His job.
Again, I found myself unintentionally resisting the manipulations of the therapist. “Just try to lay there & not fight it. Try not to try to help me,” she said. “Okay, God. I am listening. I guess I have not learned my lesson yet. This is the second day in a row where I am being told I need to relax into someone else’s hands. I know that I need to do that with You, too. I know that I need to relax & let YOU handle & manipulate a situation that I have been trying to deal with on my own. Just like with the massage therapists, if I will just quit fighting You, then You will be able to bring me to a place of comfort & tranquility. If I will just stop resisting Your attempts to get rid of the bad things in my life, if I can just hold on a little while through the discomfort that working out the kinks brings, then I will be better than ever before. I will be relaxed & ready to go out & take on the world.”
Hopefully this time the lesson will take. Hopefully I will not need to keep getting the same lesson over & over again. RELAX INTO HIS HANDS. STOP FIGHTING. LET HIM DO THE WORK. This is my new mantra. “Relax into His hands.” He is more than capable, & does not need my help. And though it may be a little awkward at first, it will get better, & I will become more comfortable the longer I allow Him to work on me.
Though I cannot see His face, I can feel His touch on my life, & I can sense His presence as He is deftly attacking the places that need to be worked on in my life. His touch can break up years of accumulated toxins. The therapist told me to be sure to drink a lot of water after the massage to help flush out the toxins released. Does God not also call us to drink of the living water to do the same thing? The water of life that will wash away our sins is needed after God has worked on us to break up the bad things in our lives. Like the free bottle of water that I was handed as I left my massage appointment, the water is freely offered & readily available. But like I had the other day, we have a choice – no one is going to make us endure the discomfort of having negative things broken up, & no one is going to force us to partake of the water that will wash it all away. The choice is ours to make.
As for me, I am going to continue to work on relaxing into His hands, & though that will be challenging for me, I know that I can do it, if I just let go & realize that His touch is the one that heals. And when He has finished His work on me, I will go out refreshed to partake of whatever He desires to give me in order that I may complete the work that He has begun in me.
~ LOU L. SAMS