In his painting “The Helping Hand,” French artist Emile Renouf portrays an old fisherman seated in his rowboat with a little girl next to him. Both the old man and small child have their hands on the large oar as they make their way across the water. From the look on the little girl’s face, you can see that she is intense in her efforts to help him row the boat, although, of course, it is really his strong arms that are doing the work.
How like us in our efforts to help God accomplish what He has given us to do! We sometimes act as if it all depends on us, when really we’re merely putting our hands on the oar while He is the One who ultimately accomplishes the work.
The principle is true whether you are in ministry or in the workplace. God warned His people that after they had become successful in their work, they might be tempted to say to themselves, “‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).
God lets us help Him. He gives us the privilege of putting our hands on the oar. But we desperately need His strength and help if we’re going to get the job done. That’s why He tells us, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10).
Maybe right now you’re in the middle of a big task. Your hands are on the oars–and you may even be getting blisters. Remember, God’s strong hands are also on the oars. You can rely on Him to help you. The Psalmist David said so many years ago, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped” (Psalm 28:7). Keeping rowing—knowing that it’s a privilege to work with God in accomplishing what He wants done.
What needs are you needing God’s hand to take over in your life?