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Why God Wants Us to Reach Out

God doesn’t want us to stay stuck, our faces buried in the dirt from sorrow and grief.

When you're down, look up and reach out to God.

When you’re face-in-the-dirt down and out, Julia Attaway explains why it’s important to look up–and reach out to God.

I walked into a church in a distant city recently, in search of a quiet place to pray. My heart was heavy, and the list of people who needed lifting up had suddenly grown very long.

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St. Peter reaching out to GodBehind the altar was a mural depicting scenes from Scripture that involved Peter. He was there with his fishing boat, there at the transfiguration, there holding an awkwardly large fish.

The scene that captured my attention, though, showed Peter crouching in emotional anguish on the ground, reaching up with arms outstretched to a serene Jesus. I assumed it represented the moment Christ said, “Peace be with you” instead of “How could you betray me like that?”

I thought of how sorrow and grief and regret sometimes cause us to collapse on the ground in a heap, either literally or figuratively. I thought of how, when we are hurting badly, we want God to step down and rub our backs gently and whisper soft comforts to us, and how that usually doesn’t seem to happen.

I mulled over this picture, and it struck me that perhaps this is because God doesn’t want us to stay stuck with our faces in the dirt. He wants us to look up, to Him. He wants us to reach out, to Him. After all, it is easier to pick up someone whose arms are outstretched. 

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