CLOSED FISTS//OPEN HANDS

Well first of all, if it’s Thursday when you’re reading this, Happy Thanksgiving! Hopefully your plans for the day include food and fellowship with those you love and are grateful for. I still believe we live in a great country with great opportunities. I’m thankful for everyday I get to step out of bed and be ALIVE! What a gift and blessing from the Almighty.

I never want to get weird in this blog, but I also know bearing my heart will sometimes put me outside the norm once in awhile. Honestly, I’m ok with that. It’s what pushes me to write believing that someone out there needs to hear this as much as I do. So here goes….
 
I had an image take shape in my head a few weeks ago during my prayer time. The image I had was quite similar to the picture attached to this post. It contained two sets of hands; one set closed into fists and the other set open. As I started to contemplate the meaning, I felt the Holy Spirit impress something on my heart:
 
These two sets of hands are the two courses you can take as you go throughout this life. You can either choose to approach life with hands clenched into fists or you can approach it with hands that are open.
 
Think about that for a moment.
 
What are closed fists good for?
 
Fighting
 
Punching
 
Holding back
 
Gripping tight
 
Not letting go
 
What about open hands?
 
Receiving
 
Giving
 
Open for opportunity
 
Posture for worship
 
Surrender
 
The Holy Spirit placed upon my heart a theme which I’ve been coming back to many times since this picture emerged. I believe the theme is a lifestyle; it’s a pattern of behavior and a way to approach every circumstance we face in life. It’s become a mantra for me and it’s begun to affect how I conduct my behavior.
 
Do I face the day with my hands closed and grip tight at everything I can? Do I sing the words “I Surrender All” on Sunday and then go about surrendering nothing Monday morning? Do I refuse to forgive and remain locked up in bitterness and anger? Do I hold tightly to that one thing God is putting his finger on…that pattern of sin, that idol in my life, perhaps that refusal to take a step He is clearly calling me to?
 
OR
 
Do I engage the day in a posture of openness; staying shapeable to God’s will for my life? Am I open to give of my time, money, and resources to those who might be in need? Am I surrendered and emptied of myself so that I can worship freely without condition or hesitation? Do my hands extend grace and mercy to others as they were to me by my Savior? Are my hands so busy being open to the opportunities God would give that they have no time to accumulate treasures this side of eternity (am I storing up treasures in heaven)?
 
It’s a simple idea and at first glance, it almost seems too rudimentary and trite. But I think the beauty of the picture is that God was genuinely saying to me, this is how life is approached. It boils down to this. It’s either all about what you can grab, cling to, and hold on to OR it’s all about what you can let go of and relinquish in pursuit of me. It CANNOT be both things at the same time. Both worlds cannot co-exist within our hearts.
 
This blog is one I hope gets the gears turning and allows some reflection. Although it’s covered a significant amount of ground, please understand it’s simply an approach to the world you see before you. I believe Christ’s hands were willing to be open and to give of Himself. In the end, His hands were laid bare to receive the nails we deserved.
 
He didn’t fight or clench His fists.
He didn’t oppose the plan that was already in place.
He chose to surrender His will to that of the Father.
 
It’s the example we must follow as well.
 
God bless you today and as always, I would love to hear from you: info@derekcharlesjohnson.com
 
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Proverbs 3:27
 
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Luke 6:30
 
If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. Luke 9:24

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