When my kids were toddlers my husband lovingly and skillfully made them a large toy boxo. I remember times they would grab specific toys and wouldn’t want to let go. Their little hands would turn from pink to white as they held on tightly and cried if someone tried to take it. At times they were holding onto something that they really didn’t know how to play with or had outgrown, but it was theirs and they wanted it.
That picture came to my mind one day when grappling with the idea of letting go of a good thing in my life. My schedule was busy and I could see this ‘thing’ was taking more and more of my time. The thought of letting it go was enough to make me grab tighter and cry.
In my mind I could see the toddler holding on while behind him (her) was this great big toy box with so many other toys. Ones that were colorful, challenging, and maybe more fun! But that toddler was so fixated on keeping what was in their hand that they couldn’t even see the other toys available if they would just let go of the one they had.
I think I’m like that toddler sometimes. I get so wrapped up in something that I can’t see how I could ever do without it, that it’s actually taking up way too much of my time or keeping me from more important pursuits. I hold on for dear life because I don’t want to lose it. And all the while God’s gently saying, if you are willing to give this up, I have others things I want to put in your hand that will be more fulfilling, help you grow and bring even greater enjoyment. As long as we fixate on the good thing we have in our hand, we can’t turn or see clearly enough the better thing He has to offer. (Rom. 12:2)
I never viewed myself as a very controlling person. I usually let others take the reins and just settle in my nice comfortable seat of following. Lately though, God has been revealing something to me…that I am a total control freak! I mean, not controlling of others, but of myself. Throughout my life I thought I was doing a pretty okay job at living my life for God when in reality I was making decisions based on myself and what I wanted out of life. God has been pointing out so many areas of my life that are still under ‘my control’.
I like to think about it like a house. I do feel like I’ve given Him access to quite a few rooms in my house…but I have some locked doors too, the keys to which I have a death grip around..I’ve hidden those keys so well I think that God will never find them! It’s like He’s standing outside of those doors, lightly knocking, waiting to be let in, but it’s just so hard to relinquish that control and hand over the keys! I think sometimes I pretend not to hear the knock and figure it must just be those shutters flapping in the wind again! But honestly, how come it’s so hard to trust God with every part of our lives? I think for me it goes right back to trust. Trusting that He is truly in control of all things (Col 1:16-17) , trusting that He loves me and that He really does have some kind of plan for even me!
I hope and pray that you and I can learn to trust this sovereign God more and more and start loosening our grip on those keys!