As I was picking grapes this week, I had to laugh at myself. I would have a handful, yet still try to pick just one more. Of course as I did, I would drop some because my hands were already full.

The line of a poem that I had learned at college kept going through my mind, “…into hands already full…”.

I finally found the poem and discovered some interesting insight into its author, Margaret Snell Nicholson.

Ms. Nicholson suffered from four incurable diseases and was an invalid, bound to her bed in pain for more than 35 years. Yet her spirit and her faith were triumphant. She learned many spiritual lessons in the midst of her pain and used those lessons to write some of the most beautiful and deeply moving Christian poetry every written.

Here’s the poem I remembered:


One by one He took them from me,
All the things I valued most,
Until I was empty-handed;
Every glittering toy was lost.

And I walked earth’s highways, grieving.
In my rags and poverty.
Till I heard His voice inviting,
“Lift your empty hands to Me!”

So I held my hands toward heaven,
And He filled them with a store
Of His own transcendent riches,
Till they could contain no more.

And at last I comprehended
With my stupid mind and dull,
That God COULD not pour His riches
Into hands already full!

-Martha Snell Nicholson