Recognizing the Lord's Hand (Callister)

Recognizing the Lord’s Hand

Naturalism’s explanations of the origins of life and the miracle of our bodies often appear convoluted when placed side by side with the simple truths of the revealed word and divine scripture.
With its 107 million cells, connected to the brain by over 1 million neurons, the eye is more perfect than any camera ever invented. It caused Charles Darwin to humbly admit, “That the eye with all its inimitable contrivances … could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest sense.” 1
The Psalmist wrote, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 53:1). Such a foolish disbeliever ought to look at his hands. Seventy muscles contribute to hand movements. Much of the rest of the body is devoted to optimizing the complex function of the hand. There are no muscles in the fingers. The sole purpose of the forearm, its muscles and bones, is to move and position the hand.
To observe a miracle, look at a baby’s creased hand. Its initial movements are uncontrolled. Shortly after the child’s birth, the hand will be able to grasp, curl, push, lift, sense hot and cold, respond to pain by withdrawing, heal itself, and display great strength and extraordinary sensitivity. These hands will be used thousands of times each day without forethought.
Your miraculous thumb is controlled by nine individual muscles and three major hand nerves. Sir Isaac Newton is reported to have said: “In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.” 2
Paul Brand, renowned orthopedic hand surgeon, wrote: “We use our hands for the most wonderful activities: art, music, writing, healing, touching. Some people go to concerts and athletic events to watch the performance; I go to watch hands. For me, a piano performance is a ballet of fingers—a glorious flourish of ligaments and joints, tendons, nerves, and muscles.” 3
The infant Son of Man once possessed tiny hands. His hands, too, grew to accomplish their intended purposes. He used them to touch and heal the blind and infirm. His hands threw the money changers out of the temple. His hands reached upward in prayer, outward in blessing, and downward from the cross.
The fool proclaims in his heart that there is no God, but our eyes, hands, hearts, and souls unhesitatingly testify to the contrary.
One of my brothers is a physician. During medical school he was assigned to study anatomy in companionship with an agnostic. Their education eventually required that the two of them carefully examine and dissect a cadaver. They studied the incredibly complex yet harmonious systems of the body. They noted the body’s power to correct its own deficiencies and to send healing antibodies to the place of injury or infection. They learned of over 150 trillion cells within the body. If set end-to-end, these cells would encircle the earth more than 200 times. Today medical students learn of more than 1 billion miles (1.6 billion km) of DNA in one human body. My brother and his fellow student learned of a brain that continually receives signals from 130 million light receptors in the eyes, 24,000 hearing receptors in the ears, 10,000 taste buds, and hundreds of thousands of receptors in the skin, with specialized commissions to recognize touch, vibration, cold, heat, and pain. My brother and his friend became silent as they contemplated the miracle they were examining. Sensing the moment was right, my brother challenged: “Coincidence is a marvelous thing, isn’t it?” His agnostic classmate responded, “You win.”
This earth departs from its orbit of the sun by only one-ninth of an inch (2.82 mm) every 18 miles (29 km). If, instead, it changed by one-tenth of an inch (2.54 mm) every 18 miles, we would all freeze to death. If it changed by one-eighth of an inch (3.18 mm), we would all be incinerated. 4Did this all happen by accident?
Alma spoke to us, as well as to Korihor, testifying, “Yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator” (Alma 30:44).
The doubter requires too much of us when he asks us to believe that the miracles of eyes and hands and DNA and order in the universe all happened by chance. The passage of time, even long intervals of time, is not a “cause” and provides no answers without an intelligent designer.
The evidence of Heavenly Father’s existence is everywhere: in every newborn babe and in every system, part, and parcel of the unending and orderly universe, including our own bodies. He is evidenced in every sunset, work of art, and passage of music, all of which He has provided to gladden the heart and bring beauty to our lives. Richard Swinburne said: “God paints with a big brush from a large paintbox and he has no need to be stingy with the paint he uses to paint a beautiful universe.” 5
It is not possible to contemplate the immeasurable vacuum and purposelessness that would exist in our lives if He were not there. We would regret the passing of every day and the passing of every loved one, knowing that neither time nor relationships could be extended. We would approach the autumn and then the winter years of life with crescendoing fear. Every day of our lives we should thank Him that He is there and that this life is not all there is.

From a devotional address given at Brigham Young University–Idaho on November 8, 2005. For the full text, please visit


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