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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Outstretched Hands

As I was reflecting about this past season, the picture that came to my mind was one of outstretched hands.
So much of what is precious to me, I naturally tend to hold tight, gripping on with a firmly clasped hands, attempting to control and protect.
These last few months have been a reminder that nothing is mine to hold that tightly. It is only with open hands, trusting in God and seeking His best plan, that I can truly begin to experience freedom in my life.  
As I agree to open up my hands and let go, I begin to see how much more amazing God is at looking after these precious areas of my life. Yes! Who’d have known? He’s much better at it than me! 
I’ll be honest, there have been some rough spots these past months where I have felt totally unsure of what to do and what direction to take. 
It has been during these times that I have had to consciously stop myself from curling up the fingers that so desperately try to control and the hands that want to grip tight and cradle closely whatever it is in there at that time. 
And let me tell you, these past few months, there have been many things in there!
Throughout this season I feel like God has, once again, asked me to release my cares, my family, my friendships, my plans, my reputation, my insecurities and my hopes to Him.
When I am able to do this, I can truthfully say that He does not let me down.  He has never failed me.
When I have been able to release something to Him, being deliberate to flatten my palm and outstretch my arm to Him, He has always come through.  Maybe it hasn’t been how I’d thought He would. Maybe it hasn’t been in my timing.  Maybe it wasn’t even the way I would’ve liked but I know, and trust, that ultimately He knows best.
I was smiling to myself and praising God the other day while doing my ironing. An issue with a friendship that I had needed to surrender and hold loosely in order to let God come and in and work had now, suddenly, turned itself around. What I had been so unsure about, I had quietly opened up to God to work out.  It was several months later that I felt close to this person once again realising that indeed, God had gone before me and protected that friendship.  Had I taken the route of holding on too tight or speaking out of line in defence, I know that it could’ve been a very different story.
Sometimes these situations are so hard to just keep an outstretched hand in but, in my experience, it’s totally worth the wait.  Often we don’t know what is going on “behind the scenes”.  

Be encouraged that situations can and do change… even miraculously at times!
My hope for you, who are reading this, is that this week, whatever it is that you hold too tightly to, that you will also feel the freedom in letting go.  

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