Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holding lightly

A wise woman once said that if you hold a bird too tightly you will crush its wings (V.C. Andrews). Of course anyone reading those words knows that the truth of the statement applies to more than just flying fowl but to human beings, love, dreams, wishes, aspirations...the wings of life that cause us to soar will inevitably be crushed if held with a fierce grip.
The trouble is that a light grip is often hard to manage. You and I are always so afraid we'll lose what it is we want most, what we cherish. So we grab hold of that something special and squeeze. What will happen if we loosen up just a bit? The thought is too devastating to even consider. Best hold onto it with everything we've got so that we never have to face a day without it.
In our desire to keep hold of that something we lose sight of the life of the something. Just like that bird with its delicate wings we too will crush the life out of anything we hold too tightly. The wings won't work. The bird won't fly. Our dreams, love, wishes they can all die, too, when held with a vise like force.
When we grasp too tightly at the things of this world we not only cause harm to that something but we cause harm to ourselves. You may ask, how can love be harmful? How can the dream of success be harmful? How can wanting to have a thriving ministry or a happy family or a fruitful career be harmful? The truth is that anything that we hold too tightly, apart from the Lord himself, will cause harm. A death grip will cause the loss of circulation and a severing of our direct line God. The free flowing communion with the Holy Spirit can't reside in a heart that has an unrelenting grip on the things of this world.
In all things, with all things and through all things we must be willing to keep our hand open and our grip relaxed. God may have another "thing" or "person" or "dream" He wants to place in our hand and to receive it we must be willing to have the old plucked away. Or maybe God wants us to continue having that love, dream or wish but just don't want us to hold it so tightly that we crush its wings!
By keeping a loose grip we are not showing indifference or complacency but submission and obedience to God. To follow God wholeheartedly we cannot be attached to anything apart from Him. We must be willing to deny every desire of our human heart so that we can pursue the desires of God's heart without competition for our attention or distraction from the ultimate purpose of our existence, furthering the Kingdom of God.
Jesus told His disciples in Luke 9 that when they went out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and do miraculous works in the name of God that they should, "...take nothing for the journey--no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt." (v. 3). 
To be effective for the Kingdom the disciples couldn't be gripping anything that they had come to know, depend upon and value. They had to give it all up for the sake of Christ. A tight grip on their livelihood, their money and even their family would have made them useless to Jesus' great mission of soul saving. They had to abandon it all to be abandoned to God. 
If God asks us to drop the thing in the palm of our hand will we do it? Or are we holding on to it so tightly that our fingers are locked in that white-knuckled, death-grip position? Dear Reader, hold loosely to the things of this world. No matter how much you may love that person, value that possession or crave to see the reality of that dream, hold it with a palm wide open. Allow God to give and take away that which He sees fit. It is much less painful to drop that dream than to have it pried out of your locked fist.

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