‘My hands are tied’ is a phrase we use when we cannot freely act. Many times because we are bound by the laws we submit to. As I write this I cant help but remember when I needed a passport urgently. I walked to Nyayo house in Nairobi, ready for the application and process required. First I thought that I could get it down within minutes, but was shocked to find long queues and frustrated faces all over. So I walked to one officer asking if there was an easier corruption-free way, and he said ‘no’. When I kept pestering he said ‘ you have to queue and wait for a few weeks for your passport to be ready, there is nothing I can do, my hands are tied.’ Those words deflated me, and I missed a travel opportunity I had at work.
When someone tells you ‘my hands are tied’ it basically means that there is nothing else they can do. There is no further action they can take. They have simply come to a dead end.
We all have come to a point in our lives when our hands were tied. Be it at work, in ministry, at home and in other spheres of life. We all have come to that place where we cannot act because of our beliefs, the protocols, our values, our religion, our standards and even the rules and regulations around us.
In the Bible. we encounter people whose hands were tied; they could not act because of what they believed to be true. They chose to stick to the narrow way no matter what! Look at Job, after all the frustration and pain, to a point where the wife was advising him to curse God. He choose to declare that ‘ I know that my redeemer lives’ what he believed barred him from acting. Look at Shadrack Meshack and Abednego, in Daniel 3, they chose not to serve any other god, even if it meant being thrown into a furnace of fire. Their hands were tied by their faith. In Daniel 1: 8-16, Daniel choses not to eat the kings food, he purposed in his heart not to defile himself. His hands were tied by God’s law.
Are there actions you chose not to take because your hands are tied by God’s word? Are there things you say no to, even if it means suffering and being thrown into a den of lions? I pray that our faith, God’s word and God’s law will tie our hands and cause us not to walk, talk, think or act in ways that do not honour God. Today ask yourself, ‘ are my hands tied?’