open that monkey fist

our bible study teacher handed out lumps of clay last week.  the assignment was to form something representing yourself, something God is doing with you lately, etc.  what i made isn't so important.  it was a heart, or a ball or snake or something...whatever...i can't think when people are around.  i just do my assignment and then refocus on the party at hand.

what stuck with me was what kristi made:  an open hand.

she said she was trying to open her hands more, take what God had for her, receive it.

most mornings i find myself waking, mentally groaning or sometimes bracing and guarding myself for the day.  but lately, i've tried to open my hands.

first i think about opening my hands, but then i actually slide my hands out from under the covers and open them facing up.  i pray, "Lord, help me receive what You have for this day."  i try to keep them open and talk to Him. 

do you know how many times i instinctively start to close them?  it's crazy.  it is actually really scary and vulnerable to open them to Him.  i had no idea. 

He can put anything He wants in them.  that should sound beautiful, right?  but mostly it freaks me out.

elizabeth is in the hospital with a baby who has had major surgery, and may need another one.  she lost a different baby two years ago.  open hands sound so scary.  what if we open them, and He puts something worse in there. but if i keep them closed, does that really restrain His actions?  it feels like it might, but it doesn't. 

i heard once that we are like a monkey with his hand stuck in a jug with a tight opening.  he's holding onto one banana.  his tight fist won't fit through the opening; he has to open his hand for it slide out.  you offer him ten bananas, but in order to take them, he has to let go of the one in the jug to remove his hand.  open hands.

i used to think we were like that monkey...holding onto what we want, and unable to take the better thing God wants us to receive.  but i don't think that's true for me right now.  i think i mostly just keep my arms crossed, close to my chest, self-protectively.  a tight little shell.

but not this week.  this week, i'll at least try.  try to keep those hands up and open.  man, those palms feel bare and soft and unprotected in that position.  just try it.  but then i think of His hands open, receiving nails for us...Someone like that can be trusted with our open hands, i think.  i'm not as sure as i sound, but i know it must be true.