Today’s Reading: Matthew 6:25-26
When you first saw that one of the GROW Rhythms is “Open Hands,” you may have thought it was a little strange or even wondered what it meant. However, at Cross Creek, we have begun to use this visual of open hands as a way of depicting a lifestyle of fully trusting in God. The posture of your hands being open is a beautiful metaphor for trust. When we are clenching what is in our hands, we are signifying that we feel the need to protect or hide what we have. But when our hands are open, we are willing to allow things to be given to us or taken away. There is trust involved. This idea of living an open-handed life is something that is the same for our relationship with God.
Many of us struggle with trust. We have been burned, hurt, and had people let us down.The state of the world around us makes us often feel like we are on the defense, in protection mode. Often this mentality carries over into our relationship with God, making it difficult to trust him. The thing is, it can be hard to trust a God you cannot see. Especially if you are new to your relationship with God, it can be difficult to put your trust in someone you are just learning about. However, as we talked about in Week One, a relationship with God is like nothing we have ever experienced here on earth with the people around us. When we understand God as the Creator of everything we also understand that he is the ultimate provider. And when we mix that with the knowledge that he loves us, that he is completely good, we then realize that there is no one better to allow access into every area of our lives.
We tend to protect parts of our life that we lack the desire or ability to trust others with. Those protected areas of our lives are different for all of us. Some of us are very protective of our time and energy, and some of us are very protective over our resources – we have worked hard for what we have and don’t want anyone else involved. Then there are some of us who are protective of our plan for our lives – we have something in mind for how we want things to turn out and we don’t want anything to derail that plan. Whatever it is, all of us have parts of our life that we guard. So when the topic of trusting God by living an open-handed life is brought up, we find ourselves still wanting to keep one hand closed.
God knows this about us, that’s why in our Scripture reading today in chapter 6 of Matthew we are reminded that we have nothing to worry about. We are reminded of Nature all around us and how even birds don’t worry about their needs for the next day. Yes, trials and difficulties are a part of life, but we do not have to try to control everything. There is no more striving. We can trust God as our provider and guide of our lives. Even those protected areas of our lives can be placed in the hands of a loving God.
Use the PRAY (Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield) acronym to spend time in prayer.
What are some parts of your life that are hard to trust God with?
What does an open-handed life look like for you?