Why do we lift our hands in worship? Why do we sway to a waltz and tap our feet to the beat of a drum? Why do we clap our hands and stand in appreciation of a performance, a person?
I come to worship, at times, with a heavy heart. Troubles often seem to surround me and the last thing I want to do is lift my hands. When I was younger, I thought it was fake to sing and praise when there was nothing inside. I thought God would appreciate my honesty with Him. Maybe He did.
I think He appreciates a yielded heart more. I think He looks on my heart and sees me lift my hands. He knows my circumstances and my worries and takes note that I pursue Him.
There is a physical aspect of worship, a discipline of doing what needs to be done, that positions us to hear, to receive, to obey. And God honors that. We want the emotion, the high of sensing His presence, of knowing His goodness. But, this often comes on the heels of submitting our wills, our intellect, our reason and our hope to Him.
In some churches, raised hands are considered inappropriate, clapping hands are not seen as reverent. I find the opposite true in my own life. I can feel my heart so broken and weighted, and, in the act of dancing or pointing to Him, feel the weight lifted, the healing begin. In the act of raising my hands, I sense my soul becoming still. “Be still and know that He is God,” doesn’t necessarily refer to being physically still, but an inward stillness.
I am older, not skinny, a ridiculously uncoordinated, goofy, little man. And if I am seen as undignified, I will stand with king David and say, “I’ll become even more undignified than this…,” FOR HIM!