The other day I was dancing with my youngest granddaughter in my arms. It was a worship song and I raised one hand to the Lord, the other was holding her, and little Chooch did the same, raising both of her arms. I then did a couple of full circles with her and as we spun, she leaned out and with her arms outstretched, closed her eyes and laughed with such gusto! As I looked at her sweet, darling face I got the thought that the joy I was getting from watching her sweet abandon to the moment was maybe a little bit like the joy our Heavenly Father experiences when we abandon ourselves fully to the joyful times in our lives. I think of times when I have experienced profound moments of joy like the day I got married, the birth of each of my children, the moment I first held each grandchild, even moments of witnessing a gorgeous sunset over the ocean, etc. At those times my arms were raised to the Lord (at least in my heart).
There have also been times when my arms were raised to the Lord in supplication. At the funeral of my husband’s parents, they died together in a car accident, during one of the hymns we sang several members of the family raised their hands to God. Later my boss, who had attended the funeral, asked me why we raised our arms. I told him, “I was saying ‘Abba Father, this hurts too much, I need you to hold me and help me through this hard thing'”
I remember the first Sunday back to church after being with my daughter for the birth of her first child, a baby boy, Judah, who passed away after one week. One of the worship songs we sang had the following words:
vs. 1 Blessed be Your name, in the land that is plentiful,
Where Your streams of abundance flow, Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name when I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness, blessed be your name.
Chorus: Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise
And when the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord, Blessed by Your glorious name.
vs. 2 Blessed be Your name when the sun is shining down on me
When the world’s all that it should be, blessed be your name
Blessed by your name on the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be your name.
That song went right to the heart of the matter and I ached and tears flowed and yet again, I was able to lift my hands to my Father and ask Him to help us through this terrible, hard thing.
Last Sunday was Easter and we celebrated and praised the Father for the sacrifice of His beloved Son and the resurrection of Jesus on that early Sunday morning raising our hands in worship for His great goodness. We ate a lovely ham dinner and did the Egg Hunt even with the cold wind blowing. Later it snowed, huge flakes coming down.
May you find reasons to raise your hands to the Lord in wild happy abandon and may that be your first reaction in your moments of grief and hardship. Either response pleases the Lord.