This is not the usual image of hands spread out to God. These hands are dirty. They are not what you would expect to see in church. And this is the reason I chose this image. I chose it because it is real.
We come to God dirty, beaten down, and weary from the fight we just finished, are presently in, or are soon to encounter. It is dark in that place, not like the pristine image we like to think of as the spiritual place we should be.
This hard, dark place is real life. When you are in such a place, can you THERE spread out your hands to God? This is a real test of faith and trust.
The enemy pursues me; he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. (Psa 143:3-6 NIV)
David writes about this place in today’s Scripture passage. It is a place where, except for faith, there is little in which to hope. With faith, however, there is all the hope needed not only to survive but to thrive in the place where we are.
The key to survival in such a place is in the last verse of today’s passage. David says, “I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.”
When was the last time you really felt thirsty for God, like someone in a desert with no water? Have you EVER? This is where you must go. This is where you must be. If you do not know this place, I encourage you to seek it from God. Do not be afraid of what it may require to get there. Whatever the cost, it will be worth it many times over.
The door to this place is also something David said: “I remember …” Recall what God has done for you. Be mindful that what He has done, He will do. If you cannot recall what He has done in your own life, “borrow” experiences from others. If you cannot find some of those, “borrow” David’s. I promise he will not mind at all. (You are also welcome to “borrow” mine.)
Are you feeling weak? Beat down? Weary? Dismayed? If you are, then … you are normal. Whether you are aware of it or not, you are in the same place as David in today’s passage. This, my friend, is good company. Take comfort then in what he says and do what he did. Spread out your hands–however dirty they may be from the struggle–and thank God for what He has done.
This is true faith. It overcomes the darkness and propels you to a place of light. It renews both soul and spirit because it connects you to God, who has all power and authority. Once connected, His authority is enabled in your life and circumstances.
Just as you must plug in a light to connect it to the power source that enables it to shine, you must make the connection for God’s power to flow in your life and circumstances. It will not happen unless you make the connection–by faith. But when you do, you will find all the power you need.
Do not worry about cleaning up before you reach out to God. Not only is it unnecessary, it, in some cases, can be anywhere from a waste of time and energy to an outright distraction. Instead, spread out your hands to Him in love, honor, thanksgiving, and acknowledgment, just as you are.
Really do it. Literally do it. Right now. Take that bold step of faith.
God does not expect you to clean up. He already sees you just as you are. He is looking for your faith, trust, and love. These are what make you clean before Him. You have been held back in the darkness too long. Come out of the enemy’s domain and into God’s light.
Will you take that step?
(c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved • http://www.e-min.org