The other night I tried to open a jar that just wouldn’t budge. I tried all my tricks–knocking the edge of the cap and even stabbing it with a knife to release the pressure. Nothing worked. In fact, I tried so hard that I felt something twist in my shoulder (thank you, forties). I finally gave up and called my husband to try. I must admit I was a little pleased that he also wasn’t able to open it easily, but, eventually he was able to exert enough effort. We were rewarded with the satisfying pop of the pressure relieved within the jar.
Sometimes life feels like that. In an effort to keep things together, we put the lid on tight. Before long, the pressure within makes the lid almost impossible to remove. What starts as a method of preservation instead becomes a trap.
I have been learning that my attempts to keep myself safe often result in me being stuck. With my lid on tight, I can’t share the contents within that are meant to be shared. Instead, as in the sad case of my aforementioned jar, I could learn it has expired.
I know this is where I need help. Like Eustace trapped in the dragon body in the Narnia Chronicles, I need some divine assistance to get free. My tricks aren’t enough to get me unstuck. While I wait, though, I will not be afraid of being stuck. I will choose to trust He is coming and that He can and will handle my situation in His perfect timing.
*Written in response to Five Minute Friday Prompt
Release means unclenching my grasping hands. It means letting go into another’s care what I hold. Release is scary because I cannot know for sure what will happen when I let go. Will what I held fall to the ground and break? If I let it go, will I ever get it back?
I’m reminded of Abraham clinging so tightly to his son; his hope of God’s blessing tightly interwoven into the life of this boy. How hard it must have been to release him into God’s hands! And yet he did and he now stands as a monument of the faith that saves. He believed and he trusted God, not only in word, but in beautiful, painful, releasing action. He too did not know what would happen when he let go, but he knew to whom he was releasing his greatest hope. It is this moment that defines his faith so exquisitely– the moment he gave God everything, trusting that somehow God would bring it back.
As we release things in our life, we too should have that same boomerang hope. We can release knowing God will bring it back in His own way and in His own time. This faith is the faith that defines our lives.
*Written as a response to the Five Minute Friday prompt
Tired is a check on my ambition. On any given day, I have a mental list of all the tasks I want to accomplish. These tasks are varied–from chores, to creative works, to appointments I need to make. Sticky notes and digital lists permeate my life.
Though my list is extensive, tired often says no.
It says I can do so much, but then I must stop. Tired reminds me that I am human; I am weak and need rest. Tired keeps me close to God, reminding me that I cannot do it all. I need help and, specifically, guidance to focus on what is essential.
I have often wondered why there was such an emphasis on physical healing in Jesus’s ministry. Obviously their lack of modern medical care made people’s lives physically uncomfortable. It was this discomfort that reminded them of their need for a healer.
Today with Tylenol available for the slightest ache, the best reminder of my weakness is my tiredness. Despite my aversion to this, it is so very needed.
Can we imagine what our lives would be like without the check tiredness brings? How frantic would it be? How busy? We would measure success even more stringently by our to-do lists. We would be imprisoned within the confines of our own schedule.
Tired is our safe guard, keeping us dependent on our God who provides.
*Linking up with five minute Friday’s prompt this week.