A.J. Gordon, one of the founders of Gordon Conwell Divinity School, shares the story of being out for a walk one day when he happened to look across a field at a house and see something that caused him to take a studied look. Beside the house was what looked like a man pumping furiously at a hand pump. As he watched, the man continued to pump at a feverish rate but seemed tireless in doing so. Up and down, pumping on and on, without ever slowing down in the slightest, much less stopping to take a break.

Witnessing what he thought to be a remarkable sight in strength and endurance, he started walking towards the house. As he got closer, however, he could see it wasn’t a man at the pump, but a wooden figure painted to look like a man. The arm that was pumping so rapidly was hinged at the elbow and the hand was wired to the pump handle. The water was gushing out, not because the wooden figure was pumping it, but because the figure’s hand was attached to an artesian well. It was the well that was pumping the wooden figure.

Mr. Gordon used that incident to illustrate an important point about Christian service. When you see a person at work for the Lord and producing results, recognize that it is not the person’s efforts that are producing results, but rather the Lord working through that person. His point is both simple as well as profound: all a believer has to do to produce results for the Kingdom of God is to keep one’s hand on the handle.

Jesus shared that principle in John 15:5 when he said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Paul declared in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

If your hand is on the handle, don’t let go. If your hand isn’t on the handle, you will never experience true joy and satisfaction in life until you put your hand in the hand of the One that gives eternal life.

To His Glory,

Pastor Bill