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The Proverbs 31 Woman stretches out her arms.

She stretches them out to tackle important projects.

She stretches them out willingly to assist.

She stretches them out to release those things that she would be tempted to hold on to, like bitterness, fear, rejection, pain.

She lifts them in praise to her Creator, her Redeemer, her Source of solace and strength.

She stretches them out so that she can embrace new opportunities.

She stretches her arms out so that she can relieve the pain, suffering and loneliness of others.

Do you know how many times the term outstretched arms is used in the Bible? Yeah, me neither, but it’s a lot!

And most of the time, it refers to God, reaching out with an outstretched arm to protect and provide for His children.

With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm; for his mercy endureth forever. Psalms 136:12

There is another picture in the Bible of outstretched arms, opened wide to bear the burden, saying to the weary and heavy-laden, “Come unto Me”, submitting to the cruelty of sinful man, arms willingly stretched opened wide to accept the sins of the world.

It can be hard, stretching out your arms. You never know what you will have to embrace. There are dirty, tear-streaked, sin-stained people who need an outstretched arm, a welcoming hug, a loving bosom on which to rest their weary head. And sometimes it hurts to bear the burden for the be-leaguered.

But, you, O Amazingly Average Proverbs 31 Woman, have an immense capacity to stretch your heart, to stretch forth your arms of mercy and love, to be the hands of Jesus, reaching a hurting and lost world. You be the comforting arms, that welcome the lost into the safety and comfort of the haven of home.

May I encourage you this day, to do what you do best– stretch out your arms!

Take from what you have been given, and give it unto the least of these. . . stretch out your arm and offer a cup of water in Jesus’ name to one who is thirsty.

Stretch out your arms and say, “Come unto me,” for whatever you do unto the least of these brothers of Jesus, you do unto Him (Matt 25:40).

Outstretched arms symbolize two things, the release of some things, the embracing of others. Don’t fold your arms in a protective self embrace, open them wide to release the old and welcome the new!

Shari

p.s. Oh, and I just checked, and the word zerowa (outstretched arm) is used 91 times in the Old Testament.  😀 and And the Greek word ekteino in the New Testament is used 16 times. You might want to check out some of these verses:  Jer 27:5 32:17, 32:21, Matt 8:3 12:13, Matt 14:31, Acts 4:30.

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