Wherever Arms are Raised, a Battle is Raging

Moses lifting his hands on the hilltop. There's something about that scene that gets me every time. I can see it right now, even as I type -- the powerful, electrifying strength with which he raised his arms for the first time over the raging battle scene -- the pain that gripped them as they grew unrelentingly heavy and fell to his sides -- the weight of his body slumping down upon the rock -- the weak, numb arms falling into the hands of Aaron and Hur -- the gleaming arrows whipping through the blazing atmosphere -- the victory proclaimed by sunset.

It's so awe-inspiring: that the stuttering, awkward man was chosen to stumble down from the montain of billowing smoke and proclaim the law of God before his people. That the same old man -- overcome by weakness, desperately yoking his tired arms about the shoulders of his descendants -- led his nation to victory. That the man who cried, "Send someone else!" out of the depths of his fears and insecurities would be told, "I send you."

I stand in wonder of the God who pours his strength into our weakness; who does not despise our messy, blundering offerings; whose makes victorious those who have no strength to hold up their own hands.

I see glimmerings of Moses everywhere: in the young man lifting his arms during worship, overcome with waves of doubt and condemnation; in the young woman raising her hands in prayer, crying as she looks back on the life that's brought her to her knees; in the mother raising her newborn above her head and feeling a piercing pain as she remembers the father he will never meet.

Wherever arms are raised, a battle is raging.

Arms raised, falling, crumbling collapsing, descending, embracing, supporting, rising, linked, outstretched, interwoven, unrestrained...

Wherever the day is dying, hope is fading, and sunlight is languishing, the God of light waits to lavish victory upon his people.

I think of Jesus. His arms straining, his body heaving, his weight pulling his hands above his head; his head falling. As the sun began slipping silently towards the horizon, the world saw two arms raised in helpless defeat.

But they weren't. They had been raised in petition, stretched out in forgiveness, lifted with reckless abandon in passionate worship. 

And now, supported on either side by two dark, gleaming nails, they were raised in victory.

The battle was won.

Images not mine; copyright goes to their respective owners.


Ruthie-Roo said...

another beautiful post! I'm just so glad I found your blog! x

Ruthie-Roo said...

you know, i was so bowled over by your post I put a link to it from my blog today.
i thank God for such an encouragement

Kaysie said...

That is simply beautiful...

I have given you a blog award over at my blog...

Oksana said...

Ruth: Thank you so much! :)

Kaysie: I'm honored-- thanks!


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I'm Oksana—Communication major, shutterbug, occasional blogger, incessant doodler, graphic design geek, and writer of sentimental prose. I am quite content to spend an afternoon with a pencil, a few blank Moleskine pages, and a playlist of indie folk. I love musical theatre, black-&-white movies, and Eastern European illustration. Conversations with strangers make my day. When it rains, I make a beeline for my mug of green tea and stack of 19th-century fiction. I'm vegetarian about 98% of the time. I'm extremely awkward and rather nerdy. I love the sea. My name means 'hosanna' and I'm having the time of my life living to praise the One who set me free.

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