There was a quote in my Bible study book that said, “Whatever you are holding onto in this life, hold it loosely so it won’t hurt when the Lord has to pry your fingers open to take it away.”
Wow. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of cynicism I can relate to!
God is notorious for taking away things we love (read: idolize). I guess it’s because He is more interested in purifying our relationship with Him, which will result in long-lasting satisfaction, than He is in allowing us to settle for that which provides us immediate, but fleeting, satisfaction.
One of my 2 year old’s daily routines is to see how many crayons she can hold at one time. She’ll get about 4 or 5 in each hand and start walking around the house, showing the crayons to everyone. Within 30 seconds, a toy will catch her eye. She’ll stop, squat down to get it, and realize she can’t pick it up because her hands are full. She’ll look back and forth between her fists of colors and the toy she wants to play with.
She has a choice.
Will she open her hands, letting those precious crayons fall to the floor, so she will have the ability to pick up another toy? Or will she keep her fingers tightly closed, passing on the opportunity to hold on to something else?
When I’m in her shoes, I usually choose to keep the crayons.
And I miss out on something bigger and better – I miss out on God Himself – because I am too afraid to open my hands.
It’s then that the prying begins.
God steps in and says, “Ok, if you won’t open your hands willingly, I’ll help you.”
Whatever or whomever you’re holding onto for comfort and security, hold onto it loosely. In other words, don’t let it become a priority over the Lord. Be willing to give it up if He asks you to so He doesn’t have to pry it away.
Kelly, that quote really hits home for me. I’ve been there and I am sure many others reading have as well. Thanks for your insight and the reminder!
I should also say that I am sure I will be there again, but with the help of the Holy Spirit maybe these words will hit me sooner rather than later!
The visual analogy of your littlest one holding onto the crayons and coming to a toy is perfect – man, how childlike (not meaning the good way right now) I can be in my faith.
Makes me think of Jesus’ teaching, that whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Jesus’ sake will find it.