I’ve learned this year that…to receive the blessings of God, the promises of God, the Word of God, the confidence of God, the love of God, the glory of God, the rest in God, the peace, the joy, the steady heartbeat that comes with simply being loved by Love Himself…
I have to open my clinched fists of control. So that, open-palmed, I might receive from Him.
That I might receive Him.
Control makes no sense. So then, why do I want it so badly? Is it maybe because I don’t trust God fully enough to take care of things?
That’s embarrassing. Because that would mean…I myself want to be God…instead of letting Him be God.
Seriously. That’s embarrassing.
So how then, I wonder, do I combat the need to clinch the fists and tighten the grip and strangle the carefree life in search of elusive control?
Heart bowed, humility washing, I ask the Lord to gently uncoil my fingers…
…and suddenly the breathing is easier. I notice the sun on the pinestraw outside and the whiskers on Tuck and suddenly there are enough hours in the day to do everything I want to get done because suddenly all I want to get done is…enjoying God.
And the work is more fun. The words are beautiful. The pressure is gone. The rest is easy and the burden is light. Jesus didn’t lie about that part.
I always wondered what He meant when He said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). Because I must have been coming to Him all this time with my fists clinched. Head-butting Him, probably. Knowing me. Because with fists clinched all I can do is head-butt or punch. And head-butting is more fun. Just ask Michael.
But with open palms, I can receive from Him. Receive life. Receive more of Him. Right where I am. In the middle of the work day. In a night of anxiety. In the quiet moment on the couch with coffee. In the triumph of progress. Wrangling the cats. Waiting for an answer.
And we can, you know? We can open our palms to receive from Jesus..because He can be trusted. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lam 3:22-23).
Gosh, it’s hard. But clinching the fists tight, I’ve learned, is harder. And much less fun. I prefer joy over worry.
I can, I must, to really live, open my palms to Him. And I can, I remind my heart, because He, in order for me to really live, opened His palms for me. He engraved my name upon His hands (Isaiah 49:16). He let the nail pierce His hands, knowing it was for me. Me. If He saw me as worth His very life, can’t I trust Him with mine?
I will open my hands to Him. I will receive the restful life He promised. I will receive Him.
Because I can trust this God-man, I tell my heart. The One who gave His life for me. I can trust Him.
Jesus holds all things together, and everything is in His hands. Col 1:17, John 3:35.
So I’ll live with open hands today, thrilled and kid-like to see what God places in them. Marveling at how God holds them gently. Loving the easy-going rest.
And you know, with open hands, there’s just flat-out more room to hold all the chocolate.
Blessings and joy and freedom and a handful of chocolate to you,