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All That You Hold

It's been a bit since I've written, but I've had a whirlwind two weeks with a shower for my soon to be daughter-in-law and then my weeklong residency with the Renovare Institute. It's been an incredible two weeks of preparation, celebration, learning and time with people I love. 

My mind is full, my heart is more full and as it turns out, my hands were full too. God is currently teaching me the importance of letting go of things that are not mine to carry. When I imagined this before, I imagined the world falling to the ground. Does this sound a bit like a little part of me thought I was God? I am finding some things I thought were my responsibility actually are not. The thing is, when you've been carrying something tightly for a long time, it's very difficult to unclench your fists. It feels painful and a bit scary.

Another name for this unclenching is "Holy Indifference." Holy Indifference is a life of open-handedness that allows us to be more open to God. We become indifferent about the wrong things so we can care deeply about the right things. This doesn't mean we no longer care about the things we have been caring about, but rather we don't care alone. We trust the God who is bigger than us to carry those things better and we trust Him with the outcomes. Holy Indifference allows us to open our hands and our hearts to be able to love better. We get to live like it doesn't all depend on us. 

Clenched fists often look like controlling, fearing, managing, over-protecting, fixing, stingy living and other similar behaviors we do when we are trying to make sure our world and the world of those we love is secure. Holy Indifference is a way to trust the God who truly does hold our world and those in our world. It's not an indifference of not caring, but one of surrender and deep trust. We often don't know we are grasping until God shows us, but clenched fist living almost always results in stress, fear and burdens we were not meant to hold. 

We can live our lives open-handed towards Him in some areas, but have our fists clenched so tightly our hands bleed in others. Growth in trust for God comes when we learn to surrender our people, our circumstances, our hopes, our fears, our material goods, our need for stability, our future and all the other things we cling to for life. We usually don't know all of the ways we are clenching our fists, but we can trust God to lovingly invite us to open our hands a little at a time. 


A poem I wrote about the unclenching:

All That You Hold

Fists clenched, I release my grip afraid of my world crashing.

But there you are, hands under mine catching all that is falling.

Weary and worn from controlling, managing, fixing and protecting.

Hands bleeding and bruised from the gripping and grasping.

You enclose my hands in Yours, the scars reminding,

There is life in the dying.

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Where in your life may God be inviting you to open your hands?

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV