“Children almost always hang onto things tighter than their parents think they will.” ~Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White © 1952 p 69
How often God must think that of us, His children!
The boys and I are reading Charlotte’s Web these days. Well…they are listening while I read. :) Tonight as I read that sentence, I was struck by just how true it really is. Obviously, it’s true of children (especially since it was referring to the ability to hang on to a rope swing), but it is quite true of many of the adults I know. Myself included. We tend to hang on to THINGS much more tightly than we need to, much more tightly than God intends us to. Funny that it would be in tonight’s chapter, since while I was washing dishes and watching the water from the faucet hit my open hand and pour off, I spent some time pondering how much the water is like God’s blessing. It pours out of our open hands, so abundant and free flowing it can’t be contained, but the minute we close our hands to hold on to ‘our share’ it ekes out through our fingers and we have nothing left. When we try to hang on tightly, it disappears.
Today I had the opportunity to practice letting go. One of the young families in our church lives outside the US. They have 4 young children, and in the fall they will be doing some homeschooling. Rebecca was looking for some specific items to take back with them when they go, and many of the things she needed were sitting in boxes in a closet, just waiting for the little guys to get older. I’ve used it all before so it’s not new, but it’s easily replaceable here in the states. As I briefly considered whether or not I needed to keep it, I kept thinking about God’s blessing. The ONLY place in the Bible that God tells us to test Him is here:
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. ‘Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it…’” Malachi 3:10
I want to live life with open hands, to be able to share God’s blessings. So today 3 huge boxes of homeschooling materials walked out of my house. I’m thrilled! They’ll be used and appreciated. Someday, if I need them, God will provide for me just as He did today for Rebecca. After all, it’s only stuff. If being faithful in the little things—willingly sharing what I have with others—means that God will open the floodgates, there’s really no decision to make. Since God owns it all, I can count on His provision. He’s already proven Himself trustworthy time and time again in our lives.
What are you hanging on to too tightly tonight? Are you willing to step out in faith and loosen your grip?