Are you a hand raiser?!? No, not the kind that has the urge to raise their hand every time they have a question! Although I know there are people in this world who fit into this category, I’m talking about the worshiping God kind of hand raising! Today, I was listening to a podcast and the question of raising our hands in worship was brought up. The podcast is called, “The Glorious in the Mundane” and I would highly recommend it to anyone needs a reminder of God’s beautiful handiwork in the middle of what we would consider “the mundane” in our lives. Christy Nockels’ sweet spirit reaches through my phone and gently lifts my own spirit whenever I have the opportunity to listen. She got me thinking this particular day about my own hand raising journey…
Raising my own hands in worship is something that I began doing when I was teenager. My parents didn’t lift their hands, none of my friends did it, I’m not even sure how it happened! I just could contain myself! I do remember how focused and connected I felt at that moment. There was no turning back! God’s spirit is something I have sought for as long as I can remember. Our Heavenly Father is so real and holy that He deserves all of our worship, all the time! He shows us this not only when we focus on Him, but as we walk through our everyday lives. I’ve had my prayers answered time and time again. I’ve been blessed when I follow in obedience. When my life has been met with trauma, and what felt like the front end of a Mack truck, I’ve looked back to see God’s sovereignty and grace. When I worship in song, I am worshiping my real God, and my hands and arms wish to join in! Christy, quoting a friend, mentioned that raising our hands “causes you to have to be bodily present along with your heart and mind with what God is doing in you at that moment”. It engages all of us, into who He is, and what He lavishes on us! Ignoring everyone and everything else, and being wholly present with Him. Drink that in for a minute… Raising your hands “causes you to have to be bodily present along with your heart and mind with what God is doing in you at that moment!” Being bodily present with the Lord is quite the commitment!
About 2 and a half years ago I was hired as a Contemporary Worship Director at a local church. As a worship leader, raising my hands is still deeply bedded, but my musical situation has changed! Normally, I find myself behind a keyboard while I lead. I love playing the keys, but I long to be able to lift my hands every week! I’m sure my band has had some musical thoughts as they see me take my hands off the keys attempting to do so! But now being in a place of leadership before a congregation, raising my hands isn’t just for me, I also long for them to make this personal connection. That’s why I do what I do! I love to see and be a part of God working and moving in worship. If raising my hands to my Lord will bring encouragement for someone else to try it too, then far be it from me to be self conscious!
It’s a yearning in my heart that everyone finds a way to connect with the Lord. I LOVE making music and raising my hands in worship! So, if you happen to be raising your hands in my congregation, there’s no judgment here!! In fact, I’m right there with you whether you see it or not. And if your not a hand raiser yet…just start small. God will meet you right where you are!
He is good, faithful and true!