The mighty hand of God at work

Published 3:37 pm Thursday, June 13, 2019


Religion Columnist

Where is the hand of God at work in your life? Sometimes it is hard to recognize God’s powerful presence at work, except over a long period of time. For example, we read in Exodus how God hears the cries of his people, sends Moses, promises the promised land and delivers both liberation and property.  We say, “Look, the mighty hand of God was at work!” It is too easy to miss that it took Moses’ entire life for God to deliver on these promises.

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In 1831, a Kentucky slave named Tice Davids made a break for the free state of Ohio by swimming across the Ohio River. His master trailed close behind and watched Davids wade ashore. When he looked again, Davids was nowhere to be found. Davids’s master returned to Kentucky in a rage, exclaiming to his friends that Davids “must have gone off on an underground road.” The name stuck, and the legend of the underground railroad was born.

Harriet Tubman was raised in slavery in eastern Maryland, but escaped in 1849. When she first reached the north she said later, “I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person, now I was free. There was such a glory over everything, the sun came like gold through the trees and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven.” Tubman was not satisfied with her own freedom, however. She made 19 return trips to the south and helped deliver at least 300 fellow slaves, boasting “I never lost a passenger.” Her guidance of so many to freedom earned her the nickname “Moses.”

Tubman’s friends and fellow abolitionists claimed that the source of her strength came from her faith in God as deliverer and protector of the weak. “I always told God,” she said, “‘I’m going to hold steady on you, and you’ve got to see me through.'”  Though infuriated slaveholders posted a $40,000 reward for her capture, she was never apprehended. “I can’t die but once,” became her motto, and with that philosophy she went about her mission of deliverance.

Tubman said she would listen carefully to the voice of God as she led slaves north, and she would only go where she felt God was leading her. Fellow abolitionist Thomas Garrett said of her, “I never met any person, of any color, who had more confidence in the voice of God.” (excerpted from

Has the faith of another dramatically revealed God’s hand at work in your life? Perhaps you have done a courageous act of faith to help someone else’s faith? Consider the courageous midwives, Shiphrah and Puah in Exodus. Pharaoh declares they should kill all male babies at their birth, which they will not do.  Their excuse is so outrageous, that Pharaoh doesn’t know what to do. They say, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women. They are hearty, and have the child before we arrive.” The Bible tells us they stood up to Pharaoh because of their faith in God (Exodus 1:15-21).

We see the mighty hand of God at work most completely in the life of his son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He is the greatest gift we have ever been given. He lived his life defending and loving people that were unlovable. At the same time, he did not defend himself when he was put on trial. His love for us held him to the cross, not the three Roman nails.  His courage and sacrifice have inspired so many through the millennia to have the courage to obediently do God’s will, and let others see the mighty hand of God at work in their lives. 

The hand of God is at work in our lives. For God has always watched over and guided creation.  Whether his children are slaves in Egypt; midwives ordered to do something they will not; a child floating on the Nile that will one day lead his people to freedom or God’s own son hanging on the cross to redeem the world from sin for all time. Look around you, in both the ordinary and the miraculous.  God is at work. Where have you seen the hand of God at work in your life? Have you given up on God because he is taking longer than you want to make the changes you pray for? Who has God sent into your life to help you keep the faith as you wait and grow closer to him?

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