Yesterday would not have been a good day to be at summer camp! We had huge thunderstorms roll through all day with tons of rain. When it rains like that at my favorite camp, the place turns into an enormous lake thanks to the fact that it’s built on a giant pile of sand.
Two years ago we had a different problem, and two years ago I got a fresh glimpse of what it means to want God. It didn’t rain for weeks. Everything was dry and dusty. The grass was dying and turning brown. Just walking around kicked up so much dirt that your feet and legs were always covered in a light tan film. I felt pretty desperate for some rain! And then I found Psalm 143:6.
“I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.”
I knew what it meant to be in a parched land and desire water! But what did it mean to want God like that?
“I stretch out my hand” When is the last time you reached for something, really reached and felt the stretch? As adults we don’t do this very often. We can usually just reach what we want pretty easily. Even at church, if we feel brave enough to raise our hands during worship, we don’t normally stretch them out to God.
I walked through the dry, dusty field at camp and I thought about being as desperate for God as I currently was for rain. And then I did it. I stretched out my hands. There is humility in stretching, there is even a little bit of fear, because we are admitting that we can’t reach by ourselves, we are showing a need. What if God doesn’t meet us?
God will meet us! Look at some of His words,
“’You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all of your heart I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:13-14
“…that they should seek God and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is not actually far from each one of us.” Acts 17:26-28
When I stretched out my hands to Him, felt the strain in my fingers and the pull in my elbow, He was right there. I’m desperate for God. I can’t live without Him. I need Him in the same way that plants need the rain. He knows that, but I need to remind myself. So, I stretch. Sometimes when I’m feeling brave at church I’ll lift my hand up just a little bit higher until I can feel it; sometimes it’s in the car when I’m listening to the radio.
You should try it. Right now.
There is just something freeing and beautiful about admitting how much you need God. Be cautious, or just fling your arms up, but do it. Tell Him, “I stretch out my hands to you! My soul thirsts for you like a parched (that means really dry) land.” And then wait for the rain.