I have been struggling to understand how to just be. How to move through and navigate each day? How to just be and breathe and live in the juxtaposition of extremes that come in a day? A day that brings high highs and low lows. How can I ride these waves of emotions: mourning, joy, sorrow, happiness, sadness and celebration? The feelings rest at the extreme ends of emotion’s pendulum.
On Cup of Hope this week we are focusing on Psalm 145, and the importance and the blessing of praise. As I have been studying this week God gave me this picture. A picture of a worshiper taking on a posture of praise. The posture looked like this:
Feet grounded shoulder width apart, standing up straight. Face, eyes and chin all elevated, looking toward the heavens. And then the arms. The arms of the worshiper bent at the elbows and bent at the wrists. Hands flat out.
Hands flat out. Ready to receive.
Psalm says, Psalm 63:4 “So I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.”
In the left hand the worshiper receives the blessings, the joys, the celebrations, and laughter. In the right hand the worshiper receives the trials, the suffering, the pain, the losses and tears.
Just like a balance scale. The worshiper stands erect, outstretched arms with hands as scales.
The scale teeters between sadness and joy, between deep soul-wrenching heartaches and light giggling shrieks of happiness.
Here’s the thing, the worshiper, like the scale, can handle the weight of either the good or the bad, or the joys with the sorrows because of the strong base and because of the flat open hands.
When it comes down to it, it is not the weight of what is put on the scales that matters, or even on which side the weight is placed. What matters is the posture of the stand (the worshiper), like a pillar and the flat, open scale pans like hands.
Psalm 28:2 says, “Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help, When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.”
I believe that it is God’s desire to cultivate in us a heart of worship. A worshiper is grown through the balance of the extremes. A heart of worship curated through pain. A heart of worship blooms through celebration. Every season and opportunity to be added to the open hands of a worshiper who says, “no matter what comes my way, I will choose to stay grounded in my faith and lift my eyes to the heavens.
Help is found in God alone. Our hope comes from him.
I believe he wants us to hear today that at the end of the day it is not about what was placed in the hands of our balance scale – it’s not about what our life was made up of – trials or treats. It is about what kind of worshiper our life has made of us.
In the Bible there are many verses about using “honest scales”. I had never thought about honest scales in the context of life circumstances creating the heart of a worshiper. I think it is interesting to note here, this verse from Proverbs:
“A just balance and scales are the Lord’s; all the weights in the bag are his work.” Proverbs 16:11
This life I am living, it is not my own. It is for a purpose far greater than I can even grasp or understand. The weights placed on the scales of my life, are the work of the Lord. He knows what we need, he knows what is for our ultimate & eternal good.
What looks “fair” or “balanced” to us is not what is fair or balanced to God. But what I do know is that he is a good and just God. I trust the weight in his bags are just what I need to cultivate within me a heart of a worshiper.
How are you holding your hands? Are you wringing them together in worry? Are you clenching your fists in frustration? Are you clapping with pride and celebration? Has your posture, your scale, tipped over because your hands were not open to receive what God saw fit to place on your balance scales.
How are you standing? Are you staying grounded in your faith no matter what happens in your life? Are the difficulties and blessings producing a heart of a worshiper in you? If not, perhaps your hands, your desire to receive and accept whatever it is, have been closed and shut up tight?
If you, like me, have been walking through extreme heartache and extreme celebrations at the same time and you are feeling worn and ragged, I encourage you to stop, lift your eyes and arms toward heaven, and with flat open hands and sing a song of praise.
The more I have been willing to say, “God I don’t get this, but I trust you,” the more peace I have, the more strength I gain as my roots grow deeper and my eyes stretch higher to the heavens, where my help comes from (Psalm 121:1-2) We have the choice to worship through the storm and through the sunshine and rainbows.
The Christian Band Big Daddy Weave sings a song called “I Know”. The lyrics express the desire to continue praising God amid the storms of life, “On my darkest day,
In my deepest pain, through it all, my heart, will choose to sing Your praise. I know that You are good. I know that You are kind. I know that You are so much more than what I leave behind. I know that I am loved. I know that I am safe ‘cause even in the fire, to live is Christ, to die is gain. I know that You are good.”
God is good. His weights are trustworthy and produce the heart of a worshiper.