• “PEACE does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to ‘wait trustfully and quietly on Him’ who has all things safely in His hands.” – Elisabeth Elliot

Treasures by Martha Snell Nicholson


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!

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8 Responses to Treasures by Martha Snell Nicholson

  • Gabriella Gravina says:

    Please help me to find a recording oos the song I heard based on Martha's poem,Treasures. I don' t know who recorded it, but I know thru searching online that it was arranged by Tom Fettke and Tom M oen had some association. I have seen it listed as, " Empty Hands". And 0ne By One " and also "lift Your empty hands to me"...

    • Wendy Tascione says:

      It's likely one of the arrangers was DON Moen and I believe the recording you're looking for is this one, God With Us. Please be blessed by the beauty, even if it's not the correct one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwHQ1rCqhVs

  • Lynn Moseley says:

    I am a novice writer, writing my first faith book at 90 years old. Must I have copyright permission to include EMPTY HANDS by Martha Snell Nicholas in my personal testimony of my faith and trust in God?

    • womenofchristianity says:

      Hi Lynn! That is incredible. From what I understand, it is usually necessary to obtain permission from the copyright holder to quote a poem in a book (unless the writing is now in the public domain). Though this site can be listed as a source of research, all materials on this site are the property of the respective copyright holders, so any permissions would need to be granted from them. Please don't hesitate to ask if you need assistance with anything on here and may He bless the sharing of your personal testimony!

  • Barbara L Barrick says:

    These beautiful words were taught to me with the tune of The Unveiled Christ. It was life changing for me when we sang this at a college camp retreat in 1964. This with Romans 12:1-2 changed my life.

  • John Sellers says:

    HELP! iNEED ASSIST WITH THIS...A POEM....It reads SOMETIME I GROW TIRED OF THE HUMBLE TASK THAT BRED THE HOUSEWIFE FARE...OF THE BREAD TO BE BAKED AND THE LINEN KEPT NEAT AND FAIR....AND THEN I SEE .........At this point I am lost.....to continue..I think the title is MARY AND MARTHAS YET.......HELP ME IF YOU CAN...... 1HELP

  • Logophile Lady says:

    I love this poem, first heard quoted by Charles Stanley in a bio of David,, but I have to make two changes: 1) The word "stupid" implies that those with low IQ have less value than smart people so I privately change that line to "With my mind so slow and dull" God chooses the foolish things of the world... et al. and 2) God can and does anything He very well chooses to do! Look at Solomon and David, and even Saul - He poured out riches upon riches into very full hands! I changed this line from "COULD" to "would" - making it a principle, not a precept, nor a limitation on God. Who are we to limit God? He is God and we are not.

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  • “One of the most wonderful things about knowing God is that there’s always so much more to know, so much more to discover. Just when we least expect it, He intrudes into our neat and tidy notions about who He is and how He works.” – Joni Eareckson Tada

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For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, — Philippians 3:20 (NKJV)

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