Open Hands – Blessed

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The last month has been a journey as we delved into what it means to live a blessed life, something that I think we all desire. We’ve learned that we experience God’s best when we give him our first and that a blessed life starts in the heart. Over the weekend, Lead Pastor Ben Snyder wrapped up the series by talking about how God blesses an open hand more than a closed fist—a truth that resonates deeply with me as I try to grow in this area.

Ben shared in his message that we have to be open to the part God wants us to play. For me, friction arises at the word “open.” There’s an uncertainty that comes as soon as we relax our grip and surrender to God’s plan, as though we think maintaining a firm, closed hand means we retain control over the direction of our lives or actions. We have a wriggling fear of God steering us away from the path we’d prefer.

In truth, that’s a possibility. God might call us to give up something we’d rather keep, do something we’d rather avoid, or move in a direction we’d rather shun. He might not miraculously take away the issues in our lives, but instead, invite us to grow through dealing with them. In Isaiah, we see that our plans do not always coincide with God’s.

Isaiah 55:8-9
8 “For my thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

But our concerns about surrendering to God’s desires for us ignore a critical fact: God’s plan is always better. Not easy, mind you, but deeply worth it. By releasing control to God, we open ourselves to him, allowing him to weave our lives together in a richer and more satisfying way than we could have imagined. The Bible assures us of God’s goodness in his orchestration of our lives.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

We don’t have to fear releasing our grip and surrendering to the part God calls us to play.  Obedience will undoubtedly lead us well outside our comfort zones, but we can confidently trust God’s loving wisdom. The small, sometimes hesitant, display of trust that comes with opening our hand will ultimately lead us toward a blessed life that’s even better than we could have envisioned.

Questions:
Would you describe your posture toward God’s callings as closed or open? Why do you have that attitude? Are there areas in your life that God is asking you to surrender to him?

Next Steps:
Identify the areas of your life wherein you need to release control to God. Ask him to guide you in this process. Join a Group to gain support as you grow your trust in God and pursue the part he has called you to play.

Prayer:
Dear heavenly Father, you are the author of my life, and your plans for me are always good. Help my trust in you to flourish as I live with open hands to the part you call me to play. Thank you for your everlasting kindness and patience. Amen.


This post was written by Sarah Pagel, a regular contributor and editor or the LivingitOut.


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