From time to time, I get this picture of my hands opening in the sunlight. Palms up, and grains of sand streaming between my fingers, this is a reminder to me to hold loosely the things I am inclined to keep tightly in my grasp.
In so many ways, I try to control my own circumstances. I play a game in my mind that speaks lies, on repeat, to my heart: “If only you do this one thing, then…” “As long as you don’t…” “Because you did…” “This is a result of your past…” “This moment has to define your future…”
If I let the whispers keep up, I very quickly engage in a hamster wheel of worry and fear, and I can’t stop running. Life like this is exhausting.
I don’t believe that this what God truly has for us, but I do know that it’s exactly how the enemy wants to wear us down.
It’s not hard to misconstrue God’s timing in our lives as his withholding instead. “Where are you, God?” “Can you hear me?” “Do you care?” We ask ourselves these kinds of questions as we allow our hearts and minds to wander away from greater truths that seem out of reach in our pain and waiting.
We try to control.
But the voice that says “If only…” is counterfeit. If God were to be fair to all of us, we would have so little of the goodness we’ve actually received. He owes us nothing. But he gives us breath and life. Hope. Deep joy in the midst of trials. These are all his GRACE poured out. While we’re so busy clinging tightly to the thing or things we don’t think we can relinquish to him, God is busy doing work in our lives.
When my attention is so focused on holding on to what I think I have and what I think I need, I’m not looking at what God has set right before me. And when I believe I know better than he does…what I want, what is best for me, what will fulfill the aching of my heart, God is waiting all too patiently for me to realize that he is making all things new at his perfect pace.
Without trial or need, I don’t even turn to him for help. I think I can make it on my own. I hold on for dear life to the things I can’t bear to give up. And this place of not trusting, of needing to control, of clinging with all my might…it wears me right out.
But when I open up my hands? I no longer have to buy into the lie that I control it all–that every move I make will cause me either to sink or swim. I don’t really have to worry about anything at all, because I’ve entrusted my life to the One who holds it all in the first place.
Nothing I have is my own. Sometimes I forget. But when I remember, so many chains break away. With my fingers outstretched and grains of sand pouring down, my worry, guilt, shame and doubt all fall away, too. What’s left is what was really meant for me: Light. Air. Freedom. Rest.
I want to live here, and to lead a life that honors this picture I’ve been given. God controls my life, my circumstances, and my deepest desires. I want him to know he has my heart, too.