Of closed fists or open hands …

Open Hands

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I admit it. I’m a control freak. I like to know the plan. I not only like to know the plan, I prefer to steer it, setting it in motion, ensuring that it gets executed. And not just done, finished, and over, but done well, properly, successfully, correctly.

I don’t like feeling out of control, unsure, nervous. Butterflies in the pit of my stomach are not my friend.

I hold on tightly. My fist is closed, fingers tightly clenched.

But all of my control is really an illusion. There’s a figment of my imagination involved here. In all of my attempts to control situations and people around me, I invariably stumble upon the reality that I am not in control at all. And my tightly clenched fists, desperately holding on to what I want, what I hope to have, what I wish for, are really choking the possibilities to death. It’s like holding onto a fistful of sand and hoping you will still have sand in your hand at the end of it all. Instead, the grains of sand trickle out, squeezing between my fingers. There might be a few grains left stuck to a sweaty palm, but the tighter I squeeze the less I have.

I am learning the value and joy of having open hands. When my hands are open I am reminded over and over again that I am not in charge. I wasn’t meant to be. When my hands are open I am in a place where I am able to receive, things can be placed in my hands when they are open. It is so much easier to be receptive, approachable and open to possibilities when my hands are open, waiting in anticipation.

Yet, something can just as easily be taken out of my open hands too. Loss and sadness have found their way into my hands. Open hands can lead to experiences with sorrow.

Being open handed means that sometimes I pick things up. I frequently attempt to carry too many things. Other times I carry things that I was never meant to pick up in the first place. My Father is in the business of pruning back my life right now. He is busy trimming away things that are all lovely and valuable but are not meant for this season that I find myself in. It’s meant change. There’s a different normal that feels very unfamiliar, one that I don’t know if I want to get used to.

But every time I begin to close up my hand and form that tight fist, I am reminded that my heavenly Father is the one in charge of this life He has created and given to me. He has always had a plan for me – a plan that is good and is aligned with His heart. He knows the paths that I have found my feet on and they have not always been good ones. But His desire and intention for me is that I will live with open hands that hold tightly to His nail pierced ones. His gentle nudges and persuasive voice long to lead me down the paths of righteousness that He desires. His open hands beckon me closer, drawing me deep into the Father heart of God. This is the place of refuge and security that my tightly clenched fists can never provide. Why would I choose my own uncertainty when He is offering the sureness and constancy of His presence?

I choose to open my hands to His possibilities knowing that my Father is with me. Of this promise I am absolutely sure.

The Awesome God You Are

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