Open Hands

Psalm 145

[14] The Lord upholds all who are falling,

and raises up all who are bowed down.

[15] The eyes of all look to you,

and you give them their food in due season.

[16] You open your hand,

satisfying the desire of every living thing.

[17] The Lord is just in all his ways,

and kind in all his doings.

[18] The Lord is near to all who call on him,

to all who call on him in truth.

[19] He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;

he also hears their cry, and saves them.

[20] The Lord watches over all who love him,

but all the wicked he will destroy.

[21] My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,

and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.

fist1open-hand1

You are a God of an open hand [14], not a God of a closed fist.  Look at these pictures and see the difference. Look closely and feel the difference.

The Lord cannot uphold those who are falling and raise those bowed down with a closed fist.  The Lord’s hand is extended to us, ready to lift and to raise.  No matter how long we have been away, the Lord’s hand is extended to us ready to accept us with love, unconditional love.

Look at your own hands.  Mine are much older than they used to be.  There are many more wrinkles than there used to be.  Today my arthritis does not hurt my hands.  I have three scars with three very good stories to go with them.  The memories once painful now make me smile.

What are you holding in your hands?  What are you holding onto so tightly that you cannot let it go?  How can you reach out to hold God’s hand if you don’t let it go?

Read the text again and really listen to the words the psalmist writes.

[14] The Lord upholds all who are falling,

and raises up all who are bowed down.

[15] The eyes of all look to you,

and you give them their food in due season.

[16] You open your hand,

satisfying the desire of every living thing.

[17] The Lord is just in all his ways,

and kind in all his doings.

[18] The Lord is near to all who call on him,

to all who call on him in truth.

[19] He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;

he also hears their cry, and saves them.

[20] The Lord watches over all who love him,

but all the wicked he will destroy.

[21] My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,

and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.

It occurs to me as I read this prayer that the psalmist recognizes God does not hold on to us, hovering over us.  God has given us freedom to live, hoping we will live our lives in God’s presence.  God upholds us and lifts us when we have fallen away and need a boost.  God has always been there with an outstretched hand, ready to satisfy our need.

What are you hands doing today?  Are you living with hands outstretched, helping a friend, a child, a neighbor?  Are you living with a clenched fist, angry, sad, depressed?  Perhaps it is both.  As you pray today, open you hands.  Yes, open your hands, placing them gently on your lap with your palms raised as if someone might place something in your hand.  Pray.  Ask God to take away anything you have been clenching in your fist.

Do you feel God is trying to give you something in its place?  Be thankful for the blessing.

Thank you Merciful God for your hands!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Cursillo, Devotion, faith, God, Jesus, Mom, prayer, Presbyterian, Seminary Student, Spirit, Spiritual Formation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s