James 1:3-4 – for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.
Does anyone else have super dry, chapped and rough hands this winter?
Oh, good. I’m glad to hear that I am not the only one.
BUT before I share more about my super dry hands, can I share a little personal blessing? I recently shared that I wasn’t sure Hubby Rick would remember Valentine’s Day. Since being retired, he kind of looses track of what day it is.
Well, HE DIDN’T FORGET. In fact, he made me a super-sweet homemade Valentine and had it hanging in the kitchen for me Valentine’s Day morning. (Of course, he had no clue that one of the suggestions I had for showing love to those you care for was a homemade Valentines.) As you can see, he knocked Valentine’s Day out of the park!
OK … back to my super dry hands. As soon as the temperatures get near 30 degrees, I feel like every little bit of moisture in my hands disappear, as well as my feet. They feel like super gritty sandpaper all winter long.
While we were on vacation in January, there was a tiny bit of reprieve. For one week, my hands (and feet … let’s not forget them as well!) felt a bit less dry. The moisture in the air and the warmer temperatures always make my skin feel so much better.
Back in the cold winter tundra of Wisconsin, overnight they become a hot mess again. Cracks form around my nails. Little bits of skin catch on my clothing and towels. Literally, my hands hurt from the cuts and cracks and raw skin that surfaces every winter.
This past weekend, I hit an all-time new low. While playing keyboard during worship on Sunday, my fingers smeared blood over the keys. As I played, those cracks opened up and spots of red were soon smeared over the keys. Fortunately, I had something in my bag to wipe away the blood smears after worship!
It seems my rough, dry, cracked and sore hands just cannot wait for winter to be done. In the meantime, what do I do?
How to Fix Dry and Cracked
How can I heal my rough and cracked hands?
I’ve googled things to do for dry and cracked hands and feet.
“Drink more water.” Check. A few months ago, I upped my water intake. And you know the saying, “What goes in must come out …”
“Moisturize before they crack.” Hubby Rick insists the reason my hands are so dry is because I use too much moisturizer; winter and summer. I slather them in creams and lotions and everything in-between probably 20 times a day. I’ve tried a dozen different creams and lotions this winter.
I’ve tried scrubs and salts and various solutions. While my hands feel a bit softer for the moment, they never get healed. The cracks are still there.
While I’ve tried so many ways to get rid of the rough and the dry and the cracks, they are still there.
Maybe, just maybe, there’s more to the story than just rough and cracked hands.
Where Should I Be Looking?
While cleaning off the keys after worship yesterday, I saw the blood. The cross. The sanctuary where we had just worshiped God. The total amount of blood smeared on the keys was really insignificant. It looked worse than it was. Honestly, in the grand scheme of life, my dry and cracked hands are basically a -2 on the sliding “awful scale” of 0 (basically nothing) to 10 (most awful thing in life ever). Yes, dry and rough hands are messy and feel yucky and are a bit irritating because, well, we use our hands all day long. But compared to other things?
It’s just not that big of deal.
Instead of contemplating about my rough hands, maybe I should be examining my rough and cracked heart and soul. Where am I too rough around the edges? Where does my heart need softening? Where do I need to feed myself better information and options that will allow me to serve God in ways that maybe new and different? How am I allowing the rough spots in my life help me relate and be compassionate with other people?
Maybe the question I should be asking myself is this: what can my rough and cracked hands teach me about my spiritual journey and where I am headed? How can a little discomfort with my hands and feet aid me in understanding where I need to soften in how I look and approach God’s kingdom?
Am I saying that my cracked hands and feet are a substitute for my faith journey? Absolutely not. What I am saying is that maybe my heart and soul should pause and reconsider how these little things in my life speak to how I journey with God.
All Christians have “rough and cracked” spots in their faith journey. It happens. It’s not a matter of “if” but a matter of “when.” Finding a closeness with God requires blood, sweat and tears. Our pasts can crack us open and help us discover something new and helpful or we can try to cover up the cracks with everything and hope the pain will go away. (But believe me; it never does.)
Until warmer weather comes along, my hands and feet will be rough, cracked and dry. Until I turn my heart and soul fully towards God and allow God to water my life with those things I desperately need, there’s going to be a dryness and roughness in my spiritual journey.
Faith journeys are always moving; closer or further away from God. It’s normal that we have times when we just don’t feel as close to God. If you are in one of those spots, take heart. Do not give up. God is still there and will be there, gently waiting for you until your heart and soul warm up once again to the Spirit’s spot in your life. It may take a bit. We may have some dry spells in the meantime. But faith is worth working through the rough and dry spots. Even the cracked parts. Faith is what gives us hope for tomorrow and the next day. It can sustain us even when we aren’t sure. I pray that you will journey through those rough and dry spots, keep moistening your life with all the good things that are a part of faith, like prayer and worship and learning about God. The day will come when you notice less grit in your faith. And then, let us all praise God.
For God’s presence even in the dry and rough spots of faith, I am grateful.
Holy God – Sometimes, we need little reminders that one thing in our lives can speak to another aspect of our faith. Thank you for using my rough and dry and cracked hands to assure me and others that when we feel rough in our relationship with You, there is always hope. When our souls feel dry, we just need to keep moisturizing them with Your love. When cracks appear in our faith, it’s really OK. Thank you for always being there, even when we feel far from You. Amen.
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