“Raise your hand if you have any questions.” I refused that offer from many teachers and professors during my elementary school days all the way through my college years, due to my shyness.
For some, it may not be shyness, but a reliance upon their own self-sufficiency. Regardless, struggling alone is a lonely road to take. You have to eventually look up to read the street sign: Dead End. You may even change course and see the funeral procession coming down another road, realizing it makes sense to ask for help because your days are numbered. I suffered because I didn’t ask for help.
But, gaining life experience from the school of hard knocks made me bolder, tougher and more direct. In God’s sovereignty, things like the disillusionment I experienced in the local church, depression, financial setbacks, career changes, a failed relationship, family dysfunction, and heart disease; He did not cause, but He allowed to break me.
All those experiences led me in my brokenness to raise my hands to God in a desperate cry for a raw spiritual intimacy. No church, no self-help book, and no counselor could provide it. My journey began when I raised both of my hands to the heavens from a weathered, honest heart after laying all of my cards or circumstances on the table, where I sat and emptied myself in a journal. From that moment, in July of 1987, a whole new world opened up and the journey continues.
I used to make light of people who continually raised their hands in a worship service. They are just putting on a show. They are not sincere. What an awful judgment toward people I didn’t even know.
Everyone needs help. Consider Moses. Even though he led the Israelites out of 400 years of slavery he still needed help, and two men took notice and did something. Listen to Moses tell the story from Exodus.
“Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek, Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.” (17: 9b-13, NLT)
The moment I quit raising my hands to my Maker is the moment I rely on the strength of my own hands.
I think you know how that goes. Raise your hands in worship.