It goes against all sensibility, the way Abraham turned to Lot and said “Choose which land you think best for your flocks” as they looked out over the hills stretching away into the horizon– the land God had already given him. And Lot chose and Abraham just nodded and let him go his way–Lot taking the best of land that wasn’t his to take and Abe giving what had been given, holding his Promised Land with open hands.
Makes me think about the things I hold onto, and why it is so hard to let go.
Maybe it’s the illusion of control when I hold onto things, the deception that still whispers that if I try hard enough I can shape my own destiny and keep my own heart safe, and the ones I love. Because if I lose that security blanket, what is left is just me and my small concerns in a huge universe, at the mercy of the Creator, and is that really enough? It is the same whisper that has echoed in the hearts of men since we first heard it in the Garden…. seems like we would have realized by now just Who is in charge, and how much better things were before we fell for that line.
But mostly it’s the fear of losing, when I hold onto things– fear that what is precious can be ruined and my heart can break at the loss. We came from the Garden knowing just how fragile life really is, and how heavy a grief weighs. Ever since, we have been clutching onto beauty and happiness with both hands as it runs through our fingers, trying to hold on and never lose it again.
But Abraham didn’t, even though he had left home behind and come so far to get what had been promised him. Because he knew that it was all gift anyway, he let his nephew take what he wanted and kept on trusting the Giver to be faithful to His promises. Traveling through the desert should have made him more wary, more mindful of loss, but somehow blessings overflowed into thankfulness enough to fill up his heart and open his hands.
Loosen these hands, Lord, and deliver me from the instinct of Self-preservation and the fear that belongs to mortality. Let me live in full thankfulness because all is gift, and there is a Giver who does not grow weary; I do not need to hold on tight, because You hold me and all the things I love in Your own scarred hands.
“The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.” Psalm 145:15-17
“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” C.S.Lewis