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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Holding On

Like the rich young ruler
There have been many things I hold with clenched fists.
And as God has pried open first one finger then the next,
I get glimpses of His promises to me.
One by one, each finger lets go and the greed, bitterness,
Fear, self loathing, defensiveness, hate, unloveliness, worthlessness, fear, fear, fear
Are given into His hands.
At last my hands are open
And I can raise them in praise, friendship,
To give, to show love, to touch, to hold, to receive
All good things God has been waiting to
Bless me with before the beginning of creation

     A clenched fist looks angry; powerful in its ability to hurt. This body language carries more meaning than any words spoken. A fist portrays frustration, rigidity, hate, belligerence, and aggression. It is where we keep what we have grasped in our lives, whether good or bad. The negative things clutched inside our fist are what will keep us from a closer walk with God.
     My friend Martha told me this analogy. Imagine that you are holding a hamburger just like you like it cooked with the condiments you prefer on it. It looks so delicious. Experience tells you, you will need to hold it with both your hands or it will fall apart and make a messy pile on your plate. So, you are holding this hamburger thinking about taking the first yummy bite.  As you open your mouth wide for the first bite, you notice God is standing right in front of you with a big, juicy steak, cooked just right. You want the hamburger AND the steak! (I would want take one of them home in a doggie box.) However, to get the steak you have to take one hand off your hamburger. What do you do? Try the one-handed hamburger  hold? Which do you desire most, what you already have or the better thing that God is holding out to you?
     In the poem above, I have mentioned many of the things that I have held in my fists. Usually God has had to work hard to even get one of my fingers open. And on occasion, I open them just to try to get a better hold. When I do that, some of what is being held escapes into God’s waiting hands and he whisks it away. What a relief!
     I go on to point out what your hands are able to do once you have let go and they are open to receive. Another thought just occurred to me. Instead of holding individual fists tight, put them together and your hands will become a picture of prayer.

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