I'm in the church congregation but I feel as if I'm in a rock concert. I'm listening to the praise and worship team. Lights like a nightclub flash and pulse to the music and smoke machines pump odorless white color into the auditorium. The crowd is electrified. Adults are jumping up and down in front of their seats. The beat keeps time and the people bounce like they've rehearsed. I stand in the back comparitively motionless. I'm captivated by the hopping, the smoke, and the lights. I watch the musicians expressing everything they are playing. Their heads are nodding and their lips are smiling and the crowd cannot help but to reciprocate.
That's when I notice all of the arms in the air. These grown men and women reaching up with hands outstretched above their heads. They are opening and closing their fingers into their palms showing the number 10 over and over again. Some of them jump and reach into the air like tossing a basketball. Their behavior is more insistent, urgent as their arms and hands are reaching, grasping. I watch as they tilt their heads back to view the room above them. But their eyes are closed and their mouths are singing all of the songs by heart. They've heard these lyrics before. They've probably sung them in the car. Their bodies and arms wave back and forth keeping time to the pumping music. Their fingers fan out as if to grasp invisible hands.
And then it dawns on me. These adults look like small children, reaching to be picked up by their parents. The light and smoke and music pumping distracted me for a moment but now I can see through it and focus on the silhouettes of their arms and hands. They are reaching, jumping, stretching for Jesus and God to lift them up. They are children of God and they are asking HIM to pick them up. It fascinates me so I get lost in watching them. I see their heads fall back as if THE SON will shine on their faces in this dark, club-like atmosphere. I watch them mouth the words to the Praise songs and sing with as much passion as the lead vocalist. My eyes move to the people jumping without exhaustion, persistent. Their arms waving like in grade school, "Call on me first! Watch me Lord, I'm keeping the beat, I'm feeling YOU here in this place." They are children. They are ALL children begging to be picked up. They want to be lifted by The Father to bring them out of their despair. I admire their vulnerability. I am jealous of their complete trust in this spiritual event. They are feeling this moment. My arms are crossed and even though I am moved by the music, I'm definitely not to the point where I can ask God to pick me up.
But just as I'm thinking this, another radical thought crosses my mind. You've probably thought of it yourself. God picks you up and lifts you to a place where you feel reassurance and gives you that moment of peace where you know He has it all under control. Your Dad in Heaven has got you covered. So he picks you up like a child, comforts you and then what? What happens after he picks you up? He SETS YOU BACK down! Do you know why? Well, I don't pretend to know the answers of our Father, but I have a theory. Our Lord and Father sets you back down so that you in turn can pick UP someone else. He is like a parent who picks up an anxious child, comforts them for a moment, then sets them back down. The child can now go back to the playground refreshed in knowing that God has them under His watchful eye. He wants you to share some of that love and comfort with someone else. Share His peace. Now as a child, this simply may be playing well with others or sharing their chewy fruit snacks. As an adult, when you receive your reassurance from God after He has spiritually picked you up, comforted you and set you back down, it's for a reason. It is so that your newly gifted Peace could be passed on to someone else. You can lift up someone. You might not be able to recognize the outstretched arms above their heads but after you have been filled up with the Spirit, you can readily see the *lifting* you need to do.
Seeds to Share:
1 Peter 5:6 - Humble yourselves, therefore under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.
Psalm 71:20 - You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth
Psalm 41:10 - But You, O LORD, be gracious to me and raise me up, that I may repay them