An Open Hand
Matthew 16:24-28We made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of God.
Many of us who struggle with addictions have spent much of our strength just trying to hold on to our lives. Maybe we fear loosening our grip to let someone else take care of us. We may be doing a lousy job of caring for our own lives, but we still hesitate about letting go. Perhaps, we're afraid that if we do let go, no one will be there to take hold of us.
In the Old Testament we often hear about people being "consecrated" to God. This meant that they were making a decision to turn the remainder of their lives over to God for whatever purpose he desired. The root of this word literally means "an open hand" as opposed to a closed one. They had a ceremony to let go of what they were holding on to for their own lives, and to proclaim that God was welcome to take hold of them. Jesus told us, "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" (Matthew 16:25). By now we probably recognize that we were losing our lives anyway, no matter how hard we tried to hang on.
Once we decide to let go of the control of our will and our lives, something wonderful is promised. Jesus says of those who turn their lives over to him: "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me" (John 10:28). When we finally find the courage to let go, God is waiting to grasp our lives firmly and hold them securely for all eternity.
Holding on, we lose what we have; letting go, we receive even more.