Ever hold on tight to things? White knuckled as your hand closed around something of which you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, let go? When my mom was a little girl, the door of their Model A unlatched and she fell from the car. Gramma never let her sit by the door again. Mom never talked about it much, but I think it was a cause of her back and hip pain later in life. It also explained why when I climbed into the car as a little girl, sitting by the door with Gramma in the middle, Gramma would grab my dress and wrap it around her fingers – tight. If the door had opened, I wouldn’t have moved – held tight next to Gramma.
My daughter, Kate, went to the Cherry Festival with her little cousin Evan years ago and they rode The Zipper. Although in a cage, the riders are locked into the seat with a bar across their laps. But as the car began to move, and twist, and turn, skinny little Evan started to slip out from under the bar. Kate grabbed his shirt, twisted, and held on tight. When they exited the ride, Evan looked down at his shirt and tried to smooth out the hundreds of wrinkles cause by a tightly held grasp.
Things can also be tightly held. Many times I’ve seen my Hummel and Precious Moments figurines decapitated. Even the porcelain Cinderella I received with my watch on Christmas in third grade. As I looked at the broken pieces, and started to get angry, a voice said, “They’re not eternal.” Lesson learned.
When I lost my job after 19 years, my biggest fear was losing my home. Would I be able to pay the mortgage with unemployment? God was faithful and I am still in my home; however, I did learn to loosen my grasp and say, “It’s your home, not mine, Lord. Do as you will.”
Almost thirty years ago I let go of almost everything I had – dreams, hopes, things. As I left Colorado, I left behind the joy of being a wife, the dream of growing old together, the hope of more children, the home we’d created. My attorney had counseled me to leave the things and take my daughters and be thankful. So it is no surprise that I held tightly to the two beautiful daughters God has given me. Then, God asked me to loosen my grasp. At camp I sang the words of the theme song in worship, “Lord, I want to live my life to please you.” Yes, Lord! It is my heart’s desire to please You in my words, my actions, and my attitude. “All that I hold dear I give to you.” Lord, I gave you my girls a long time ago. Well, yes, of course I’m holding on to them. You gave them to me. Oh, Lord, giving them entirely over to you is a little too much, don’t You think? They are all I have! No. You are right, I do have You. Yes. You are enough. Help me open my hand, Lord. Help me let go of all that I hold dear. Help me trust you with them.
Each day is a challenge to keep my hands open in order to give relationships, money, ministry, talents, hopes, dreams to the Lord and allow Him to be the one Who holds me tightly in His grasp.
John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”