Reaching Out

 I call to you, Lord, come quickly to me;
    hear me when I call to you.
May my prayer be set before you like incense;
    may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.   
Psalm 141:1-2 (NIV)

I was blessed to be able to attend a Michael W Smith concert at the Nebraska State Fair a little over a week ago. If you have never had the opportunity to worship with Michael W Smith– it’s really awesome! The love of the Lord and the love for his fellow man flow out of him tangibly. It’s quite the humbling worship experience to have such a gifted musical leader (he seamlessly goes back and forth between guitar and piano and sings/leads the band while playing).

As the audience was lifting their hearts and voices in worship, alongside MWS and the other musicians, many lifted their arms; or even stood on their feet. There was something deep within me that said “stand up with outstretched arms”. And I wanted to. I desired to stand and give into the moment.  My seat was very near the front (thank you very, very much to the person who gifted that to me!!) and I was self-conscious about standing or lifting my arms. I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way or block their view. Soooo, I gave into the lame excuses instead of that something deep within.arms outstretched

O Lord, I am calling to you. Please hurry!
    Listen when I cry to you for help!
Accept my prayer as incense offered to you,
    and my upraised hands as an evening offering.
  Psalm 141:1-2 (NLT)

Fast forward a couple of hours into the night. My youngest cries. She wants to be held, fed, and cuddled close. Sometimes when I go into her room in the wee hours of the morning, I find her standing- arms stretched toward me. I love those moments. I love that she is not just crying out; but reaching out. With every fiber of her being, she’s communicating to me her desire.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind (other than the sleep deprivation) meeting her needs- even when she is just laying down crying out. But I cherish and enjoy that she can and occasionally does stand and reach. My heart was warmed in the middle of the night when I found her standing and reaching out.

And then God’s gentle voice spoke. ‘My Sweet Child, I love it when you stand and stretch toward me. I love the vulnerability you demonstrate when you don’t worry about what others think; reaching when you need me. I don’t love you any less when you don’t. Feel free to reach for me. Reaching.’  

God, come close. Come quickly!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
    Open your ears—it’s my voice you’re hearing!
Treat my prayer as sweet incense rising;
    my raised hands are my evening prayers.
   Psalm 141:1-2 (MSG)

 

Lifting my heart and hands to my Loving Maker,

Stacey

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