I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands.
As a child, I was the quiet one. I was a shy, curly-haired, red-headed little girl who wanted to hide behind others. If I was thrown into the spotlight, I was not comfortable there, like others. Can you relate?
In third grade, I was about to play in a piano recital. I knew the piece, “Suppose” by memory very well. But as I stepped in front of the huge crowd, sat on the bench and my long blue skirt brushed over my black shiny shoes, fear captured me! My hand would not move away from “middle C” on the keyboard. I played that note over and over again. (My Mom stood to applaud, and everyone else did, too, in order to release me from my agony. I may be the only person ever to get a standing ovation for playing one note!) This is only one of many examples when I’d let fear overtake me where I could not move forward—not completely—for fear of mistakes or fear of hurting someone or fear of letting someone down. And when the fear cycle began, it easily could snowball into a cycle of bigger fears. Can you relate?
I had asked Jesus into my heart at the age of eight. I knew I needed a Savior! But for a long time, it was hard for me to release some of my fears…even some hidden ones. In my twenties though, in God’s wisdom, He allowed me to come to the end of myself. I realized in that time of complete brokenness that my focus must be on Him—faith not fears, depth in relationship with Him instead of people-pleasing and swirling circumstances. My life dramatically changed for the better when I became very God-focused! (I still have my moments, but I get back on track quickly.)
The freedom, comfort, guidance, and peace that He lavished on me when I needed it most increased my faith and love in my relationship with Jesus! For many years, I have expressed myself and moved forward—especially where Jesus is concerned! My hand is no longer like that paralyzed hand that could not move in one direction or the other during that piano recital as a child. My hand can easily be lifted up to praise Jesus in a worship service. (It’s just an external expression of the overflow of a thankful heart!) My hand can write/type words (in various written formats) that praise and glorify Jesus as I share with others about His great saving love! And with great expression, passion, and boldness, my hands have moved in grand gestures as I have taught Bible studies and directed drama or acted on the stages of churches over the years. (I share all of this for the great glory of God! For you see, He took me to a greater level of understanding of freedom and faith in Him and a greater awareness of His Holy Spirit working in me and God’s amazing, continuous grace…or else…those things just listed would not have happened.)
To God…ALL glory and praise! I am nothing without Him! Oh, how I will praise Him as long as I live…please join me.
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Dear Lord, let us be in awe of You. Let us move forward each day—with thankful hearts— following You! Let us give our hearts and lives completely to You to use for Your glory! We love You, so let us praise You as long as we live, and let us lift our hands to praise You! Let us keep our focus on You as stated in Hebrews 12:2, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.